Dzogchen Teachings in Gutenstein Austria 12-14 June 1998

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.. 'f'iit'-"'11 ..

Shang Shung Edizioni




On Titles and Names






The Meaning of the Teacher in Tantra




Refuge and Bodhichitta






Capacity to Follow theTeachings


Dzogchen and Tantra


Guruyoga and the Song of the Vajra


The Daki Mantri Teachings


Introduction to the Daki MantriTeachings ofThangtong Gyalpo


Moving to the Monastery of Derge


Thangtong Gyalpo


The Dream


Commentary on Daki Mantri, an Instruction Received from Thangtong Gyalpo in a Dream

46 83

Lung Transmissions

Short and MediumThun






Vajrapani Practice


The Garuda Practice








Oser Chenma


The Rite for Nagas



Green Tara








Guruyoga ofGarab Dorje


Guru Amitayus


Purification of the Six Lokas


Guru Tragphur


Bepai Gumchung


The Cycle of Day and Night




Concluding Remarks


The Daki Mantri Text


Glossary of Tibetan Terms




In the course of its history, Buddhism has developed a rich, technical vocabulary. As there is often no exact equivalent in a Western language to a particular tern1, key words have often been left in the original Tibetan or Sanskrit. TRANSLITERATION

We have followed the Turrell Wylie system for the exact trans­ literation of Tibetan words in the glossary and footnotes. In the main text, however, Tibetan words have been phonetically tran­ scribed in order to make reading easier. As many people are un­ used to working with Sanskrit diacritics, these have been left out. A simple phonetic transliteration is given, instead. These terms should still be recognizable to Sanskrit scholars. PRONUNCIATION

The phonetic transliteration of terms follows the system adopted by the International Publication Committee of the Dzogchen Com­ munity.



Friday, 12 June 1998

ON TITLES AND NAMES Most people here are not new to the teachings. If you are not new, you know more or less what to expect. New people are waiting for what is going to happen, as they do not have any spe­ cific idea of what is going on or what to do. Generally, we have assumptions about a retreat or a teaching, how it begins, how it ends. When we receive a teaching, we believe we will get initia­ tions, an explanation, or there will be a ceremony. I am sure most new people are waiting for something like this. That is nonnal, because this is the dimension we are in and not somewhere else. My main consideration and intention when doing a retreat is that we try to understand each other. It is not sufficient for me to spend one, two, three days just talking and then to say good-bye. When I proceed in this way, I don't feel very satisfied. When I feel some people understand at least a little, something concrete, then, at the end, even ifi feel a little tired, I truly feel satisfied and happy. This is my purpose when giving teachings and collaborat­ ing with people who are interested. This is not so easy. I have had this intention since the beginning. It is not something new. Now, after nearly twenty years of teaching in the western world, many of my students or people who follow my teaching are still more or less at the same point. So, it is not so easy to realize my wishes. But, I also know that there are many people, who have been fol­ lowing my teachings, who have developed themselves. I do not ask my students to change anything. If we have knowledge and understanding of the teaching, it is not necessary to change any­ thing, but simply to manifest our knowledge and understanding. This is really what I want. Even if we only spend a few days together, we should try to do our best in this respect.


In general, when people go to a teaching, they attach great importance to names and titles. Sometimes these can be impor­ tant. But, if we only pursue this idea, it all becomes rather like going into a shop to buy some things. If, for example, we go to a shop to buy a jacket and the one we want is not available, then we have not found what we want. However, if we go into a shop and immediately find what we want, we are happy. This is an example on the material level of this kind of idea. But the teaching is differ­ ent. The teaching can be presented, can manifest in hundreds of different forms and methods. But, if we really understand, if we really grasp the meaning of the teaching, there is only 'one' under­ standing. Once we have understood the meaning of the teaching, we have understood it forever. This understanding does not de­ pend on a school or a tradition. It depends very much on our­ selves. In general, we are very limited. We live in samsara, in the nature of dualistic vision, in a limited condition. When receiving a teaching, we immediately apply this limited point of view. If we follow the teaching with this view, even when we receive a teach­ ing that is beyond this kind of limitation, our knowledge will remain always in that limited dimension. It is very important we under­ stand this and that we try to understand the meaning of the teach­ mg. In the Dzogchen teaching, we use the words chig she kun

drol, which means "knowing one, we know all". We can under­ stand this by reading the biographies of Dzogchen masters who realized their knowledge in this way, understanding everything. There have been many teachers who did not study in an ordinaty way, who did not go to school or college. They received the Dzogchen transmission from a qualified teacher, practised seri­ ously, and through that practice entered the knowledge of Dzogchen. They not only knew the one practice, or the one con­ sideration, ofDzogchen, but later understood everything. We have a very famous teacher called Jigmed Lingpa. When he was very young, he learned to read and write Tibetan in a monastery. He had an uncle who taught him to read, to write and, also, some astrology. At that time, there was a good Dzogchen


teacher in that region, who gave transmission of Dzogchen. In Dzogchen, the most important teaching is Guruyoga. 'Guru' means 'teacher' and the teacher transmits knowledge, understanding. In Dzogchen, transmission is essential. The main plinciple in Dzogchen is not how to do a visualization of a deity, or how to chant a man­ tra, or how to perform a puja. In Dzogchen, what is transmitted is the means of discovering the real nature of each individual. The teacher transmits that to the student. When we receive that trans­ mission and discover our real nature, just that state, that nature is the state of the Guru or teacher. When we try to be in that state, this is called Guruyoga. Jigmed Lingpa received such a teaching and transmission, not a complicated teaching, but a simple one. If you are really dedi­ cated and want to understand the real meaning of the teaching, you do not need many complicated things. Jigmed Lingpa went to a mountain to do a personal retreat, only practising G uruyoga. After spending three years in retreat, he made contact through visions with the teacher Longchenpa, who gave him another, more essential Guruyoga teaching. He decided to continue with this prac­ tice and spent six or seven years only applying this practice. Then he became Jigmed Lingpa, which means that Jigmed Lingpa is not a simple practitioner living in a cave. Today, Jigmed Lingpa is considered a scholar. He wrote com­ mentaries on the meaning of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. There are many volumes of his writing, including writings on hist01y. It seems as if Jigmed Lingpa knew everything, as if there is nothing Jigmed Lingpa did not know. Since that time, he has been called

Kunkhyen Jigmed Lingpa. Kunkhyenmeans 'omniscient'. Some­ one can study for many years in a college [studying first Sutra, then Tantra, etc.], and finally become a scholar. But, even if one has become a very leamed person and a scholar, one can remain very limited in regard to the real sense of the teaching. But, some­ thing awoke within Jigmed Lingpa and he had knowledge of eve­ rything. This does not only apply to Jigmed Lingpa. There are, if we read these stories, many such examples. For example, one of our


practices is called Konchog Chindii, which is a practice from a Ierma

teaching of Guru Padmasambhava. This teaching was dis­

covered by a terton called Jatson Nyingpo. At first, Jatson Nyingpo was a simple Kagyiidpa monk. He decided to practise and do retreats, and he did a lot of Guruyoga practice. In the end, he woke up and received all these Ierma teachings. Not only did he receive the Ierma teachings, but he also became very expert in all fields of Buddhist teaching. Studying these biographies, we can come to some understanding of this point. I think it is something very important. In general, though, we do not follow the teachings in this way and therefore usually we are very curious to know what kind of teaching we are receiving. If we then hear an impressive title, we are very interested. A title is really ve1y relative. It is like labelling a bottle of medicine. You could also stick another label on it and people would not be the wiser, wouldn't know what is inside the bottle. In the same way, we can give a teaching a very nice name. But, if we do not meet a good teacher who has real knowledge, or receive a teaching that is transmitted in a concrete way, even if it has a very nice name or title, it doesn't mean very much. We must not go after title and names. If we are following a teaching seri­ ously, we must not become dependent on books or such things. We cannot obtain real knowledge or understanding just through books.

SUTRA If we are following the Sutra teaching, learning from books is possible. It is not necessary to receive a particular transmission to follow the Sutra teachings. The main point, which Buddha ex­ plained right from the beginning, is the knowledge of the nature of universal suffering. We need to discover the cause of suffering, how we can stop that cause, and which path we need to follow to stop the cause forever. We leam to differentiate between good actions and bad actions, how to renounce bad actions, and how to increase good actions. We can also learn this from a book. Of 12

course, it is easier if you do have a teacher who can explain how to study the Sutra books. But it is not indispensable. You can still leam the teachings of the Buddha from a book, and then apply and follow them. When we speak of a teacher, in general people think that a teacher is a teacher, and that there is no difference between any of them. But a teacher of Sutra and a teacher of Tantra are com­ pletely different. They are not the same. In Sutra, a teacher is not considered very important. For this reason, we call the teacher gewe shenyen, which means 'virtuous ftiend.' In Sutra, the teacher

is always part of the Sangha. In the context of Buddha, Dham1a, Sangha, Sangha refers to all practitioners. In Sutra, the teacher is never considered to be a Buddha. He is the same as we are, part of the Sangha. We all collaborate with each other. Sangha means that we are travelling somewhere together and that we help each other. This is how the teacher is regarded. Why do we have this idea in Sutra? Because in Sutra, there is no initiation or introduc­ tion, as you find in the Dzogchen teaching. In Sutra, you take vows. This is why people, when they are following the Dharma teachings, say, "I took the refuge vow with this Lama, that teacher, etc." It is considered very important to take refuge in a teacher. On the whole, it is not that important with whom we are taking refuge, as we are taking refuge with someone from the Sangha and not with Buddha. How should we understand this? If you want to take a vow to become a fully ordained monk or nun, the teacher alone cannot give you the vow, even if you consider him to be very important. To become a fully ordained monk or nun, one must receive the vow from the Sangha. The meaning of San­ gha, here, is that there must be at least four monks present. We cannot speak of Sangha if there are only three monks. When there are four monks present, one of them can be regarded as the main teacher for giving this vow. This monk is not called a teacher, he is called a neten, which means 'elder'. Thus, in order to receive a vow there must be a group of monks- the Sangha- out of which there is one elder who asks the questions and receives the an­ swers.



If you receive or follow Tantra teachings, it is completely dif­ ferent. There, you should view the teacher as indispensable. You can't practise Tantric teachings without receiving transmission. You can't receive the transmission ofTantra from a Sangha. You must receive it from a teacher who has the qualification and the knowledge. 'Qualification' means that the teacher first received that teaching from his teacher and then entered into the applica­ tion of that knowledge, into that path. The teacher experienced the path and fully experienced that knowledge. If then there is something to do, like practice, mantra or visualization, everything is carried out perfectly. Subsequently, there is also the possibility of transmitting that knowledge to others. But why is there a need to receive initiation for this transmis­ sion ofTantra? Because Tantra is different from Sutra. Sutra was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni in a physical body. Although Bud­ dha Shakyamuni is an enlightened being, when he was in India he had a physical body. Each day at noon, Buddha and his students went to a village to be given food. If Buddha was an enlightened being, why did he need food? Even if Buddha was an enlightened being, he had a physical body, in which case it was necessary to eat and drink in order to maintain this physical body. Buddha some­ times had health problems and, in the end, he manifested death. This is called Nirmanakaya, the dimension of the material level. When he gave teachings, he gave explanations with his mouth and his students listened with their ears. It says in the Sutras, "One day, Buddha Shakyamuni and a group of monks were in Rajagriha and other places. Then Buddha gave this teaching, etc." When we read the Sutras, there is always an introduction like this at the beginning. Everybody who was present at that moment could lis­ ten. They could hear something concrete. This is the way in which the Sutras are taught. Tantrism is not a teaching given by Buddha in his physical form, nor was someone listening physically. We say, for example, that Buddha Shakyamuni manifested as Kalachakra and then trans-


mitted the Kalachakra teaching and knowledge. This does not mean that, when Buddha Shakyamuni manifested as Kalachakra, his physical body was transformed into another body called Kalacha­ kra. Buddha has infinite potentiality. The essence of this potential­ ity corresponds with the five colours of the elements. Through those lights, through that potentiality, Buddha manifested as Kala­ chakra. When Buddha manifested as Kalachakra most of the In­ dian people who were there couldn't see the manifestation, be­ cause we ordinary people have no capacity to see the essence of the elements. We can only see the material level. When the mate­ rial level dissolves in its nature, it disappears for us. When we say that a realized teacher manifested the rainbow body, to us this means that the material body disappeared when the rainbow body manifested. Actually, 'rainbow body' doesn't mean that it really disappears. People often imagine that, when we speak of the rainbow body, it means that rainbows are manifesting everywhere, as shown on some thangkas where many rainbow colours spread out from the heart centre of Padmasambhava, so that it looks like a little di­ mension ofPadmasambhava. That is our idea of the rainbow body. But in reality, the rainbow body must not be thought of! ike that. Compared to the physical body, what does the rainbow body look like? What kind of shape does it have? With the rainbow body, everything remains exactly as it is. Is doesn't mean that every­ thing disappears and that another body of rainbow colours ap­ pears. Instead of manifesting our physical body on the material level, we manifest it with the light of the five colours.

a: for exam­

ple, we have a pure vision ofPadmasambhava, we can recognize the rainbow body of Guru Padmasambhava. We are not in any doubt, thinking, "Is this Padmasambhava, or Garab Dorje, or Vi­ malamitra?" We know who it is. If there was only a centre point from which some rainbow colours spread out, then we wouldn't be able to recognize who it was. The rainbow body does not re­ main on the material level, but all its aspects - shape, fonn and everything - stay just as they are. That is called rainbow body.



You see, Buddha Shakyamuni manifested something like the rainbow body through the essence of the elements, namely the manifestation of Kalachakra. We do not have the capacity to see this manifestation and to receive that transmission. Most Tantric teachings are not oral teachings. That is why, when we read in the Tantras, "since the begilming never taught", "never taught" means it was not taught, as we imagine, by someone who explained things with his tongue and mouth, etc. The manifestation itself is the teaching. When we have contact with this manifestation, we awaken and its knowledge arises within us. The teaching is related to the experience of clarity, and clarity is the manifestation of fonn and colour. Later, Mahasiddhas, or someone who received that teaching or that knowledge, wrote down the explanations for getting into the state of that transfor­ mation and also gave them as oral teachings. In order to effect this kind of transmission, the teacher enters into the dimension of this transfonnation. Then, in the oral teaching, the teacher gives you advice on which kind of concentration or visualization you should do, and how you can get into that state of transfonnation. You receive all thi� information and, after receiving the infonna­ tion, you apply it and you try to be in that state. The teacher has already manifested that dimension and empowered it with mantra, etc., whereby it becomes something real. This is the real meaning of initiation. In an initiation, you receive an explanation as to what the trans­

formation looks like and how to enter the mandala of your dimen­ sion. Thereafter, you have an idea of how you can get into that state. That is the path. After receiving that teaching, you can ap­ ply it, because you have received the transmission. But from whom did you receive that transmission? You received it from the teacher, not from Kalachakra, nor from Buddha Shakyamuni. So, the root is the teacher. If there is no teacher, there is no transmission. If there is no transmission, you couldn't get into the state of realiza­ tion. That means, then, that an initiation, or that kind of transmis­ sion, is indispensable. We can say with certainty that you cannot 16

do the practice if you do not receive the transmission. You cannot do the practice, or apply the methods ofTantrism, nor follow this teaching with the ideas of the Sutra level. Many people who practise Tantra consider the teacher to be like a Sutra teacher. They don't understand the significance of the teacher. Some say that what is imp011ant is the state of the teacher, not the physical teacher. But how can you have contact with the state of the teacher without having contact with the physical teacher? You must understand that the physical aspect of the teacher is related to the state of the teacher. In this respect, we should reflect on the story of Milarepa, on the way he followed Marpa and the sacrifices he made. If there is no teacher, there is no possibility of attaining realization. It is really very important to understand the significance of the teacher. We should consider the teacher indispensable on the relative level, as well. We must not think that only the teacher's state is important and dismiss the physical teacher. We must understand that the teacher is essen­ tial. You should remember the explanation given by Gum Padma­ sambhava. Gum Padmasambhava is the most important teacher of theTantric tradition that developed in Tibet. When Guru Pad­ masambhava gave the initiation of Vajrakilaya to all of his stu­ dents and introduced the mandala ofVajrakilaya, it says in a book that he manifested the mandala with the power of his visualiza­ tion. He manifested the mandala ofVajrakilaya in space. Then he gave the introduction, saying, "This is how the real mandala of Vajrakilaya looks like. You must be in a similar dimension. Now pay homage to the mandala." All his students got up and paid homage to the mandala. However, Yeshe Tsogyal, the consort of Gum Padmasambhava, did not go to the mandala, but immediately got up and paid homage to Guru Padmasambhava. What is the real meaning of this? Without Guru Padmasambhava, there would not have been a transmission. How, then, could there have been a mandala? Later, after the teachings were over, Gum Padmasam­ bhava said that the lineage ofthe consort Yeshe Tsogyal would be very important in the future lineage ofthis transmission, meaning that it would be very powerful for gaining realization. Why? Be17

cause the consort Yeshe Tsogyal recognized the root and the main point of the transmission. Some people think that paying respect to the teacher is some­ thing worldly. They often have a worldly image of the importance of the teacher and, for this reason, they pay him respect. I am not saying that this is the correct way. In a Kagyiidpa teaching, it says that you should always have a pure vision of the teacher, no mat­ ter whether his actions are good or bad. In general, it is necessary to have this attitude. If you really find a genuine teacher and a genuine teaching, and you receive the knowledge of the teaching, then even if the teacher does something wrong, you don't con­ sider the teacher to be doing something wrong, but you should have pure vision. But if you meet a teacher who is not a genuine teacher, who is not seriously transmitting, or from whom you don't get any knowledge through transmission, and then that teacher says, "Oh, you received my initiation. You must follow me, other­ wise you will go to the vajra hell," and asks you always to have pure vision, that is not correct. It is very, very impmtant, when you follow a teaching, to have your eyes open from the beginning. To have your eyes open means to assess whether or not the person giving the teaching is genuine. You must try to understand this. Sometimes it is a little difficult in the western world. In general, you don't have much time to be with the teacher and you do not know much about the teacher. Some Lama arrives and then someone says, "Oh, this is an impor­ tant Lama." Nowadays, in particular, there is a lot of Dharma business. Dhanna business means that people are not interested in helping you understand. Their main interest is in making money. If someone is clever, they can also produce some publicity mate­ rial, very good publicity material. When you receive this kind of material, you cannot really know what kind of Lama it is. Then you end up following that teaching and only discover the truth many months or years later. Finally, you realize that the Lama is not really a serious Lama, but that he is doing business with the Dharma, or, that the Lama is not really a Lama because he has no real knowledge- anything is possible. I heard, for example, that in the USA, two years ago, near our Dhanna centre, there was a 18

Tibetan Lama- at least someone said he was a Lama- who was teaching, going here and there. Many people were interested and immediately extended invitations to him. But one year later, peo­ ple discovered that he was not a teacher. Here in the westem world, it is not so easy to make this distinc­ tion. If you follow such a teacher and later discover you have made a mistake, it is better to stop. But, it is not necessary that yoJl begin a discussion with this teacher, or criticize him, because you have already received teachings from him and, even if they were not perfect, they were somehow related to the teaching. It is better that you stop following such a teacher and keep silent, par­ ticularly if you notice that the teacher is actually teaching you limitations and says that you can only do the one practice and that you can't follow other teachings. This means the teacher has the idea that you- as in a political pmiy - are becoming a suppmier of this tradition or that school, and are only in it for that. This corre­ sponds neither to your real condition nor to your wishes. If you want to belong to a political movement, you can choose which party to join. But, if you are following a teaching with the aim of attaining realization, you must understand that the limitation you receive through that teaching is a cause of samsara. We don't need a teacher to impose limitations on us. Everybody is already vety expert in possessing limitations. What we need is to discover that the function of the teaching is . to observe ourselves and to discover our limitations. We also know very well that, even when we discover our limitations, it is not so easy to be free of them. The teaching is something like an ad­ dress, so that we know where we are going. If you don't know where you are going when you are travelling, then you will never reach your destination. It is very impm1ant to follow the teaching in the correct way and to know that a serious teacher is indispen­ sable. Through a genuine teacher and a genuine transmission, you can wake up, and get into real knowledge and understanding. When we speak of the teaching in the western world, most people consider the teaching to be just a kind of technique. Some­ one gives you an introduction, gives you ve1y detailed instructions on how to sit, or how to chant, etc. Then you become very inter19

ested and believe that you know what to do and that you will have an extraordinary experience. Sometimes it is important to have such experiences; through the experiences, we can get into knowl­ edge, into our real nature. But this does not depend only on tech­ nique. The technique is always secondary. Why do Westerners have this idea? Because western technology is very developed. For example, Westerners can fly and land on the moon. There­ fore, they have developed very strong confidence in techniques. They think that Tibetans are a little backward for sacrificing many years- like Milarepa- and that Westerners can discover the main point and apply a technique immediately, and then have realiza­ tion. For this reason, most people follow the teachings like a thief stealing objects, thinking, "I want to discover this. I want to take that." Or, "Oh yes, now I understand something." Then they put it aside. A few days later, someone makes up something with what he discovered in order to create some kind of teaching; he writes a book and gives workshops. He is very successful with these workshops and becomes very famous. But if we look seriously at the teaching and how it should be, we recognize that this does not make much sense. The principle is not just technique. The principle is the trans­ mission. Even if we learn the technique, we have to work with the teacher, with the transmission. Then, there is a possibility that we can wake up and get into our real condition. Perhaps you have read the story ofTilopa and Naropa. The final moment ofNaropa's realization occurred when Tilopa hit him over the head with his shoe. At that moment, Naropa lost consciousness. When he re­ gained consciousness, he woke up and attained the state of Ma­ hamudra. Many people think that this was a technique ofTilopa's. But, there are many shoes here [Rinpnche points at the pile of shoes in the entrance] and we could hit everybody, but I don't think we could wake up even if we used all these shoes. Tech­ nique alone doesn't work. Awakening is related to transmission and transmission is something alive. That is the reason why we do Guru yoga, why we remain in the state of Guru yoga. Guruyoga means we rest in our real nature. And this should also be our consideration in relation to the' famous' illumination or realization. 20

The most important thing is that you try to discover what the real essence of the teaching is. We can then apply and get into that essence. You then integrate and bring that knowledge into your life. No matter whether you are walking, or working, or oc­ cupied with many different things, you can be in that state forever. If, for example, someone dedicates two hours every day to the practice and goes to a temple, sits there and chants and meditates, this is fine. But that is not sufficient for having realization. Be­ cause there are still twenty-two hours in which we are distracted, following our emotions, and accumulating negative kam1a. Con­ sidering the amount of all the negative and all the positive things we do, it is difficult to counterbalance them with a two-hour prac­ tice session. Even if we wanted to, it is also impossible to sit medi­ tating in a temple for twenty-four hours. That is not the main point. Doing practice doesn't only mean sitting in one position, or chant­ ing, or praying. Doing practice means we are doing something in order to get into our real nature. If we know the real sense of the teaching, there are infinite possibilities of doing this. If we are ignorant of the real sense of the teaching, then we are conditioned by a technique or a method: "We first do this ... and then this ..., etc."


There is a saying ofMilarepa: "When we are resting in the real knowledge ofMahamudra, then all movements are Yantra." Then, it is not necessary to do specific Yantra movements - taking up a sitting position, breathing, or other strange things. Even we get up, walk, sit down, sleep- everything is Yantra. There are many prac­ tices that deal with the level of our physical body, with the level of our energy, and with the level of our mind. Yet the main point of them all is the practice ofGuruyoga. According to whatever school or tradition people follow, when we speak of Guru yoga they start to think, "Oh yes, we should chant these words, do this kind of visualization, etc." This seems complicated. But, withGuruyoga, we must not go after the names or titles of the Guruyoga. We 21

must go into the meaning ofGuruyoga. The meaning ofGuruyoga refers to the state of the Guru, our teacher, and to our real nature. There is no difference. Somehow, we discover our real nature through the transmission from the teacher. At that moment, we also discover the state of the teacher. Through the transmission, our real nature and the teacher are inseparable. To be in this state is the real meaning of Guru yoga. Even if, in Guruyoga, we use many words, do visualizations and invocations, all these are sec­ ondary. When I was very young, I lived in a Sakyapa college and each year we celebrated the anniversary of Sakya Pandita. On that day, we got up very early, went to the temple, and practised the Guru yoga of Sakya Pandita for the whole day. In this Guruyoga, one visualizes Sakya Pandita, then invites his wisdom, and makes offerings to him. There were very long invocations ofSakya Pan­ dita, which we repeated for hours and hours. After the invocation, there was also the mantra of Sakya Pandita. We did this practice twice during the day. At night, we would first have a public discus­ sion of philosophical arguments and, later, we had to explain dif­ ferent aspects of the philosophy in public. I participated in these anniversary celebrations for many years, so I knew about Gu­ ruyoga and that it was important. But then, many years later, I met my Dzogchen teacher Changchub Dorje. At last, I discovered that the main practice - the most important essence - is Guruyoga. Guruyoga really means to be in the state of unification. It doesn't matter if we stay in that state ten minutes, five minutes, one minute or ten seconds - it is still Guruyoga. I understood that the invocation, the visualization of theGuru, the offering, and chanting of mantras were all secondary things in Guruyoga. I remembered at that moment, how, when I was in the college, we had performed the Guruyoga of Sakya Pandita for many years. But, it seemed that no one had told us that we were now in a state of unification withSakya Pandita and that this was the main point of the practice. I was curious about that and later tried to get hold of the text of this Sakya PanditaGuruyoga. I read it carefully and, of course, at the end of thisGuruyogaSakya Pan-


dita dissolves into ourselves. It reads, "Water dissolving into wa­ ter." This means unification. Then, it reads, "You remain in empti­ ness without concepts." I remembered that when we reached the point in the puja where it says, "Water dissolving into water and then you remain a while without concepts," we remained for maybe two or three seconds in that state and then we continued. Under these circumstances, of course we couldn't understand that this was the main point. The state was not really missing. But, we had spent the whole day doing the puja, reciting invocations and chant­ ing mantras, and had spent only two seconds on the most impor­ tant moment. We missed out on the real meaning of Guruyoga. This applies to any kind ofGuruyoga, not just to the Dzogchen Guruyoga. Understanding the main point is important. We must also be aware of our own concrete situation and understand what possibilities there are to apply the Dharma in daily life. Many more traditional teachings consider the preliminary practices, the Ng6ndro, as most important. It is true that in the preliminary prac­ tices, there isGuruyoga. That is the main practice. There is also a very powerful practice for purification, the Vajrasattva practice. And the Offering of the Mandala can be important on a relative level, for accumulating merits- that is more related to the ideas of Sutra.

REFUGE AND BODHICHITTA Refuge and Bodhichitta are of great importance from the be­ ginning. When we are following a teaching, we must understand that the teaching is the path. Through that path, we want to have total realization. That means we are going for Refuge in the path until we attain total realization. But, from whom do we receive this path? From the teacher. If there were no teacher, there would be no path. So, we are taking Refuge in the Teacher, in the Dhanna (the path) and, also, in the Sangha, the people with whom we are collaborating. All this is related to gaining realization. Therefore, Refuge is very important and we must understand the meaning of Refuge. When we are doing the more traditional Ng6ndro prac23

tice, we consider quantity as being important. People ask, "How many times shall we do this Refuge?" And then they count and try to repeat it many times. But, in a real sense, quality is much better than quantity. If you link quality and quantity, that is fine. But, this is not so easy in our condition, in our situation. In this case, it is much better that you know the real meaning of Refuge. When you practise, you should know that you are following the teaching and taking refuge in it. Some people say, "Oh, I took the vow of Refuge, now I am a Buddhist." This attitude could perhaps correspond to the Hinaya­ na style, because in Hinayana the taking of vows is considered important. But, in a real sense, this is not the main point. The main point is to truly know the meaning of Refuge. We take refuge and we need that path until we have total realization. If you are seri­ ously following a teaching or a teacher, even if you have not ver­ balized the Refuge, nor undergone any ceremony or ritual, you have already taken refuge. For example, if you want to cross a big river, but you can't swim across because the river is too wide, then what do you do? You get into a boat and cross that river. At that moment, you are taking refuge in the boat in order to cross that river. Of course, that is not


very important Refuge, but it is

a small refuge. Until you cross that river, you need that boat. You couldn't give up the boat half way through. It is the same with regard to the teacher, the transmission and the teaching. You need them all until you have total realization. You are automatically tak­ ing refuge. It is not necessary for you to take a vow or to become a Buddhist. In Dzogchen, it doesn't matter if you feel Buddhist ornot. It is sufficient you feel that you are a practitioner and that you are trying to discover your real nature. For that purpose, you are fol­ lowing the teaching and the teacher. This is the real meaning of Refuge. If you have that presence, it means you have already taken refuge. Even if you haven't pronounced a single word, it doesn't matter. For example, when you want to cross a river and you find a boat with a crew to take you across, you say you want to cross the river and get into the boat. It is not necessary for you to do three prostrations to the boat, saying, "Please help me. I 24

want to take refuge in you. I want to cross this river." You don't need to do this. In Sutra, in the Hinayana system, there exist different levels of vows, which you can take. If you like to do so, you can do that. But it is not really indispensable. Often, people who follow the teaching say, "Oh, I like the teaching. I like following the teaching, but I don't want to take refuge and be a Buddhist." This idea stems from not knowing what Refuge really means. You have already taken refuge, how can you say, "I don't want to take ref­ uge?" If you don't want to take refuge, it means you don't want realization. If you don't want realization, why are you following the teaching? It doesn't mean anything. In Sutra, people often feel that they need to change something, because the teaching is called 'the path of renunciation.' Some­ one who becomes a monk or a nun feels that they have now re­ nounced the worldly situation, their ordinary life, thinking, "Now, we are Sangha. We are important. We are different." When we are doing a practice or having a meeting, and a monk or a nun arrives, they always look for the place reserved for the Sangha, because they expect the Sangha always to be honoured. They always have this attitude and, when they see Jay people, they re­ gard them as samsaric people. They are monks and nuns, some­ thing more elevated. They have a very strong feeling they need to change something. For that reason, immediately after receiving a vow, they shave their head, change their dress, and receive a nice sounding name. If, the day before, they had western names like George or Maria, now they have become Vajra, Ananda or Tara, etc. If someone calls them George, they say, "I am not George. You must not call me George anymore!" But, in a real sense, they are still in emotions, still in samsara, still with problems and in confusion. On the surface, when we look at people who are living in a monastery, it all seems so wonderful. They are dedicating them­ selves to practice. There is nothing of the samsaric world. Then you go to a monastery, you live there, you spend some weeks there, and you discover that all monasteries have another, Jess evident samsara. They must do a puja every day. Why? Because 25

they need to eat. They are not realized. They are dependent on food and drink and dress and everything. To maintain all these things, they are dependent on receiving offerings. I flay people have some - perhaps small- problems and ask the Lamas for advice, the Lama may then suggest asking the monas­ tery to recite a certain quantity of Tara mantras, or other mantras, or to do a puja. The Lama is not dishonest; maybe if you ask for a puja, this will bring you benefit. But it is also of benefit to the monastery, as you can't ask for a puja without offering the mon­ astery some money, tea, butter, and so on. The monks and nuns need to be sponsored. If someone dies in Tibet, the custom is to do a puja for forty-nine days. During this time, the monks are invited to the house to perform the puja. We also offer money to the monastery. When the monasteries receive these offerings, they must then do a puja in the morning, afternoon and evening. There is not much time left to study or to practise seriously. In many monasteries, monks don't know what practice really means. For them, practice means doing a puja. Now you can understand the samsaric aspect. We may consider all this to be the path of renun­ ciation, but it is still samsara. So, it is most important we know and integrate the real meaning of Refuge and Bodhichitta.

PROSTRATIONS If we practise the Ng6ndro in the traditional way, then, for the purpose of purification we do prostrations. Doing prostrations has many physical benefits. Of course, when you do visualizations and have a good intention, you can also purify the obstacles of your mind and everything else. But this is not the main practice. It is not the main path. It is a very elementary practice. This kind of practice is fine, particularly for people who have no capacity to follow the teaching or to get on the path. What is the main point of doing prostrations? A prostration is a gesture showing that a per­ son is very humble and is paying respect to someone. In ancient times, in India and many other countries, subjects would always perform prostrations to pay respect to the king. Why did they do 26

this? Because they felt afraid and because they had to pay re­ spect. For us, the function of a prostration is to show we are being very humble. One problem people have in relation to the teaching is the ego. We always believe, "I am clever. I am an important person. I know everything. I know best, etc." We are not humble. In this case, then, through the practice of prostrations, we develop humil­ ity. This practice has been developed over the centuries. Some teachers have added visualizations and different ways of doing it, until eventually there have evolved very rich explanations of how to do prostrations. Many Tibetan doctors recommend doing pros­ trations when we have a problem of phlegm


If you do

prostrations with a good intention and with great devotion, you can also purify your negative karma. In any case, they are a very good exercise and good for our health. Many practitioners, who are practising in a mountain cave, sitting for long periods of time, don't move very much. When they do prostrations, they balance the physical level. There really are very precise reasons why, tradi­ tionally, prostrations are taught. But one must also consider the situation of someone in the western world who is made to do a number of prostrations before receiving the main teaching. It is not so easy. Buddha explained in the Sutra teaching how the teaching must be transmitted and taught. People who follow the teaching should work according to their condition and their capacity. I don't really feel that many West­ erners or, nowadays, even people in the East, have much time or the opportunity to do prostrations for a long time. If you do per­ form prostrations and other preliminary practices, you should do them in a correct way. Then, there is benefit. Some years ago, I went to Bodhgaya. Around this chorten, or stupa, at Bodhgaya, there were many W estemers doing prostra­

tions for their Ngondro practice. Some people had invented a kind of wooden contraption, which allowed them to get up quickly after each prostration. It was very easy for them to get up. In this way, of course, they could do many prostrations in one day. This is an example that shows how technique and quantity, instead of qual-


ity, are considered important. It is difficult to have much benefit this way. For this reason, if you do prostrations, do them in the correct way. But I don't think they are really indispensable.

NGONDRO Some teachers have the view that you can't practise or grasp the essence of the teaching without completing the Ngondro. I think that is a very traditional viewpoint, which doesn't correspond much to what Buddha said, and also means we are not working with our circumstances. Some years ago, in Boston, America, before one of my lectures, I met a very tall gentleman who said to me, "I came to see you and I want to talk with you." I replied that I did not have time right then, as it was time for the lecture, but that we could talk afterwards. I was convinced he would stay, but when I said this, he left and was not present during the lecture. He was waiting outside. At the end of the lecture, he came up to me and I asked him why he needed to talk to me. He said, "I heard that you are not only a spiritual teacher, but also a Tibetan physi­ cian and I want your advice." He had some problems with his nervous system and he couldn't walk very well. But, he particu­ larly wanted to finish his practice of prostrations. He had been following a teaching, had received the Ngondro teachings and was trying to complete them. Because of his illness, he couldn't do the prostrations anymore. I asked him how long he had been doing this Ngondro practice. He said, "Seven years already." He had been doing prostrations for seven years and had still not finished them! So, I said, "If you are following the teaching, ask your teacher to give you the initiation and practice ofVajrapani. Try to do the Vajrapani practice, because your paralysis stems from some provo­ cation." I also gave him some Tibetan medicine. Then, he went away. The following year, I was once again giving a lecture in Bos­ ton. The same man appeared, but now his walking had worsened. I asked him if he was doing the Vajrapani practice, but it appeared


that he had not received the initiation. This time, he listened to my lecture in which, in view of his situation, I gave some explanations regarding the preliminary practices. I explained that it is important not only to prepare- because preliminary practices are a prepara­ tion- but, to try to understand the real sense of the teaching and to try to get into that state. Then, if there is the opportunity, you can do any kind of preliminary practice. After the lecture, we talked for a little while but, in short, his situation had become even worse than before. Then, the year af­ ter that, I was in Conway, near Boston, doing a retreat, when this man arrived with a dog. He had become blind, and arrived with a dog and a stick. Finally, he decided to follow the teaching and do some practice. Up to that point, he had very strong limitations. He hadn't come to my lectures, because he thought that if he listened to my teaching and explanations he would have some problems with his tradition and teaching. Let's examine and think about this a little. If someone is doing this kind of Ngondro practice - the preparation- and while still involved in the preparation, the person dies four or five years later, what then? If we prepare a very nice banquet, but no one comes to eat and enjoy the food, what use are the preparations? This means that we are not really working with circumstances. Buddha said that we must work with our circumstances and our condition. We work with the teaching accordingly. Sometimes, our teachers are peculiar. Most teachers are very limited in these things. For example, when I started to teach Dzogchen, introduc­ ing the meaning of the Dzogchen teaching, many teachers criti­ cized me. They said, "Namkhai Norbu is giving teachings to peo­ ple who haven't done Ngondro practices." But, I know the func­ tion ofNgondro very well. Ngondro is an important practice. But for the teaching to become something real, we must also work with the situation, with the given conditions. It doesn't mean we can't teach Dzogchen without Ngondro. The original Dzogchen teaching taught by Garab Dorje was taught this way.



Garab Dorje said, that we first should give the direct introduc­ tion. That means introducing our real nature. Then, if we have the capacity, we discover it. If we have no capacity, we also discover that we have no capacity. In this case, we observe ourselves and find out what kind of capacity is missing. There is always the possibility of developing that capacity, so that, then, we can get into the state of Dzogchen. There is no one who, from the begin­ ning, has already perfected all capacity. We, also, do not under­ stand what capacity really means. Capacity does not just refer, as in the Sutras, to an analysis or explanation of capacity. There needs to be reference to a concrete situation. We are living in time and time is changing. Every day, our situation and our circumstances change. The situation and conditions today are completely differ­ ent from the times of Buddha Shakyamuni, or of Guru Padma­ sambhava in Tibet. We must work with our present circumstances and condition. That way, we can understand what kind of capac­ ity we have and what is missing. Some people say, "Maybe I have no capacity." Some go to the teacher and ask, "Please, teacher, tell me if I have capacity or not." But, that is not the way to dis­ cover one's capacity. To discover your capacity, you go to the teacher and the teacher teaches you. If you understand and you get into that knowledge, you have capacity. If you have no inclina­ tion to follow the teaching or you are not interested in listening when the teacher is explaining, that means you have no capacity. Most ordinary Tibetans have very strong devotion to the teach­ ings and to the teachers. But their capacity is very low. When they go to the teacher, they ask to receive a protection cord and a blessing. When the teacher puts a cord round their neck and gives them a blessing, they are satisfied and go away. This is not the path. This is not the teaching. How can you have realization with that? This already means the capacity is missing. If a teacher starts to explain something seriously, these people slowly leave, because they feel there is nothing to do. If a teacher starts putting something on their head, or gives them food and drink, then they


crowd around him. Thus, you can understand immediately what capacity means. We have, for example, a capacity for communication. If you don't have this capacity, what do you need to do? You need to develop your capacity for communication. Either you learn the language of the teacher, or you persuade your teacher to learn your language. If the teacher is Jiving on a mountain dedicated only to practice, it is very dit1icult to persuade the teacher to learn your language. In this case, you try to get a good translator. Then, you can communicate with the teacher and you can understand something. So, you can understand what capacity means. Some people live in a very passive way. When someone re­ ceives the teaching but does not change very much, he may be­ lieve that it is the fault of the teacher, that the teacher is not real­ ized, or that the teacher has no power. Then, he hears about other teachers, fantastic teachers, of whom it is said that just by seeing these teachers one can have some kind of awakening and realiza­ tion. This kind of publicity is often spread. Once, I saw an an­ nouncement from a Gelugpa centre in Italy. They invited a Ge­ lugpa Lama with a long beard called Sang Rinpoche. They wrote that he was a fantastic teacher, that it was not necessary to re­ ceive his teachings and that, just by meeting him, one would re­ ceive his potentiality. Passive people like this kind of teacher very much. They really believe they can go there and receive enlightenment! What do they do when they get there? Maybe the teacher, surrounded by many monks, is presented very elegantly and you feel a little vi­ bration. Or, the perfonning of some ceremony in which many loud instruments are used makes you feel some vibration. You then start to believe what they said in the publicity stuff. You think, "This really is a fantastic teacher. I feel the vibrations." Many people think that feeling vibrations is very important. We some­ times use these vibrations in Tantric teachings, because they are a kind of manifestation of energy. But merely feeling some vibra­ tions does not change our situation very much. When we leave the room, we observe ourselves and discover nothing has changed. That really means that we are living in a very passive way. It is 31

important that we are not passive and that we know what the real meaning of the teaching is and that we try to be in that knowledge. All these things are related to the teaching, the teacher, and the way offollowing the teaching. Everything is important. And it is even more important that we grasp the meaning of the teaching. Even if you are following a very simple teaching, or doing a very simple practice, you can always get into their real meaning. Let us take as an example Refuge and Bodhichitta. When we are doing some formal practice, we begin by using words, which state that we are taking Refuge and that we are cultivatingBodhi­ chitta. Later, when we have learnt the meaning ofBodhichitta, we then say we want to have total realization for the benefit of all sentient beings. This is calledBodhichitta of intention. We have a good intention. But, it is not sufficient only to have the intention. We must apply it. For that reason, we apply the practice. This is the cultivation ofBodhichitta of application. These two aspects encompass the cultivation of Bodhichitta. Sometimes, we chant these many times in order to train the mind and to develop that presence. But, instead of training the mind, many people count and recite very quickly, as in the Ngondro, which means they are not cultivating Bodhichitta. To know the principle ofBodhichitta involves you observing and checking what kind of intention you have when you do a practice. If we are not doing the practice with a correct intention, then we change and cultivate the right intention. That is the real meaning ofBodhichitta. Refuge and Bodhichitta appear to be what we use at the be­ ginning of a formal practice. In fact, they could also be the main practice. What do you do if you want to practise the essence of Mahayana? Maybe some people think they need to pray to all Bodhisattvas to receive some benefit, or to increase compassion, etc. That could be good, but it is not the main point in Mahayana. The real Mahayana practice consists in observing ourselves, so as to discover what kind of intention we have. Any moment you are going to do something, you have an intention. That is the reason why you are going to do something. At that moment, you evaluate your intention. You notice whether it is good or bad. If you dis­ cover it is bad, you can change it, renounce it, and cultivate a good 32

intention instead of the bad one. Thus, no action arose from that bad intention, as you immediately noticed it and changed it into a good intention. This is really the practice ofMahayana, which can be applied at any moment in daily life. When you think of doing something, you immediately remember to observe your thoughts, to recognize your intention, and to cultivate a good intention. Then, you really are a good practitioner ofMahayana, even if you don't do any kind of puja, prayer, chanting, reading of sutras, etc. This is a very simple practice. We can always do this. Of course, if we are indifferent and we remain permanently in distraction, this prac­ tice doesn't work. This is an example that shows that getting the real meaning doesn't depend much on the title and the style of the teaching.


From the beginning, the Dzogchen teachings aim at getting through the mind to the nature of mind. The teaching makes us understand this. You wouldn't receive this kind of infonnation and introduction in other teaching traditions, which doesn't mean that they don't know of it or that they do not do it. But, their way of presenting the teaching is a little different. In Tantrism, for exam­ ple, what is mainly explained are the two stages, development stage and completion stage. When you have acquired the capac­ ity of these two stages, then you don't need to work anymore with your mind, judging, thinking, and creating something. You can get into the state, which is called Mahamudra, directly. But, in order to get into that state, the development stage and completion stage are indispensable. It is said that the final goal, the state ofMaha­ mudra, cannot be attained without these two stages. This corre­ sponds to the Higher Tantra system and to most schools and tradi­ tions in the Vajrayana. A representative of the Sakyapa or Gelugpa tradition would

say one cannot get in the state ofMahamudra or Dzogchen with­ out these two stages. This is why some Gelugpas and some an­ cient Drikungpa scholars negated the Dzogchen teaching. In or33

der to enter into dialogue with them, some Nyingmapa scholars, like Jamgon Mipham, tried to give an explanation of the Dzogchen teachings using the two stages. But, in reality, these two stages don't have much to do with Dzogchen. Nevertheless, through this explanation, these other scholars could understand a little about the meaning ofDzogchen. Every teaching has its own character­ istic method of understanding, particularly Dzogchen, which is communicated directly, whereas in Tantrism explanations are given in a more indirect way. A Dzogchen practitioner can understand very well how Tantric practices work and function. If you are a Tantric practitioner, it is very difficult to understand how many things are explained in Dzogchen. That is one of the reasons why, in general, we mainly learn the Dzogchen approach. It doesn't mean we have more capacity. For following the Tantric teachings we also need a lot of capacity. But if we have the opportunity of following the Dzogchen teaching, everything becomes simpler. When I communicate the essence of Dzogchen in a very sim­ ple way, some people say, "Oh, Dzogchen is very easy!" That is true. In some respects, Dzogchen is very easy, because Dzogchen is our real nature, our condition. To get Dzogchen, we don't need to go somewhere else, or to learn many books, or to do an analy­ sis. Instead of looking outward, judging, thinking and analysing, it is sufficient that we observe ourselves and differentiate between the function of an eyeglass and a mirror. Even if we have very powerful glasses, we always look outwards. If we have very good glasses, then we can see everything in minute detail. But, even if we are very skilled in doing such analysis, we remain in dualistic vision. That is not the way to get into our real nature. But, if we observe ourselves as if looking in a mirror- by looking into a mir­ ror we can see our face - we finally discover what our face looks like. If we have some problem, some defect, we discover it. It is easier to accept such a discovery this way. If someone says, "Oh, there is an ugly spot on your face," you might feel offended. You don't like it if someone says something like this to you. Even if you do have a problem, you might argue, "Maybe this is not a problem, but a kind of qualification." But if you look in a mirror, you see yourself. There is no need for discussion. You discover your real 34

condition. Similarly in Dzogchen, we observe ourselves and dis­ cover all the different considerations of our point of view, of our path, of our realization. We discover everything.

GURUYOGA AND THE SONG OF THE V AJRA The Song of the Vajra is very important for starting our retreat. How do we do this practice? It is related to our Guruyoga. In Guruyoga we visualize a white A. The white A in the thigle of five colours represents our primordial potentiality. When we do this practice, we sound A and we visualize this A at the centre of our body. Then, we relax in that presence. We always know that this presence of the white A and the thigle represents our real poten­ tiality and, also, the state of our teachers. This is a simple way to do Guruyoga. We relax in that state, in that presence, and, even if there are thoughts, we don't go after them, we don't block them, we don't do anything. And we sing the Song of the Vajra. All the syllables of the Song of the Vajra represent all the different energy mani­ festations of the chakras and how they are governed by different sounds. When we sound all these syllables, our presence is inte­ grated in that sound. Remaining in this state, we sing the Song of the Vajra, which means that we are continually in a state of Gu­ ruyoga. If a new practitioner is not familiar with the Tibetan letter A, it doesn't matter. You can also visualize the Latin character A. If you do the visualization with the Tibetan letter A, always remem­ ber that the letter is facing outwards, not facing you. If, in any kind of practice, you visualize the letter facing towards you, that means you are remaining in dualistic vision. The principle here is that you are the letter, not that you are seeing the letter. Of course, if you are the letter, you can also see that presence. So, we sing the Song of the Vajra in this way. Afterwards, we dedicate merits to all sentient beings with our intention. For this, we use this mantra:

OM OHARE .. SVAHA. Then, we have finished our practice of .




Saturday, 13 June 1998

INTRODUCTION TO THE DAKI MANTRI TEACHING OF THANGTONG GYALPO The theme for this retreat is a teaching of Thangtong Gyalpo (1 361-1485). I will explain why.The main reason for my being in Austria is this conference in Vienna, which I was asked to attend two years ago. Then, I said I had no time. It was only possible for me to come if they organized it in such a way that I could come on my return from Russia. And so they did. The conference here is about lucid dreaming. So I thought I could also speak on dreams during the retreat, specifically on dreams related to clarity. Then, I had the idea of giving this short teaching of Thangtong Gyalpo. The main body of writings of Thangtong Gyalpo is called Thangyal Nyengyiid, 1 which is a body of oral teachings ofThangtong Gyalpo contained in maybe 12 or 1 3 volumes. These teachings are very interesting, as they are re­ lated to Chad, to Dzogchen, and also to the principle ofMahamu­ dra. The teaching I want to give you is not from that particular work. There are also some other teachings, terma teachings of Thangtong Gyalpo, which I am also not going to teach. I will give you a short teaching of Thangtong Gyalpo, which I received in one of my dreams, in a dream of clarity. I thought that this might be interesting because, in this instance, I can also explain what a dream of clarity means. And you might also have more experi­ ences in your dreams.

The full name of this text is SabchoThangtong Nyengyiid Chenmo (Zab chos thang stong snyan rgyud chenmo),The Great Collection of the Oral Teachings of the Profound Dharma ofThangtong Gyalpo.



In this context, I want to tell you a little about the history of my life. When I was five years old, I went to Jive in a monastery in Derge. It was not my own choice to go and live in a monastery. This was decided by other people. One day, when I was inno­ cently living at home, twelve monks arrived at my house. I was playing with other children outside, behind the house, and had no idea who they were. My family was living in the country, in an isolated region, where only five families lived. When these people arrived, we wondered who they were and where they would go. It had to be to one of the five families. But, they were coming in the direction of our house. Because there were many monks and, also, because we were playing without any clothes, we hid behind the house. My mother and my sister greeted the monks respect­ fully and brought them inside. After a little while, my older sister came out and said, "Oh, you must come inside, there is something to do." I really had no idea what was happening. So, I went into the house. My mother and grandmother were there and every­ body was very busy preparing something. They washed and cleaned me up, and dressed me in nice clothes. My father had made me some beautiful clothes to wear on New Year. In Tibet, it is the custom to wear new clothes at the time of the New Year. They took out my new clothes and dressed me in them. I asked, "What are you doing?" as it wasn't New Year yet. They answered, "It is important. You must put on these clothes!" Then they lead me to a small room, which was used as a temple in our house. All the monks were sitting there. When I entered the room, they all got up. They were very busy and doing something strange. They had already prepared a slightly higher place for me to sit on. Then, they sat me there and spoke to my mother. I only had a vague understanding of what was going on. When I was three years old, there was a very famous Lama, called Palyul Karma Yangsi (1898- ?), who had already recognized me as a reincamation of Adzom Drugpa. He had given me some clothes and many other presents. Later, Shechen Rabjam (191 0-59), whom


I met in theDerge Gonchen monastery, had also given me many presents. Since then, many other Lamas and many other people had paid me respect, saying I was a reincarnation. Therefore, I had some understanding. From time to time, someone would pay respect to me, but that was all. Now these monks had arrived and were so busy that I thought maybe they were doing something related to reincarnation. After a little while, they changed my clothes. They brought me very nice, yellow, silk clothes and dressed me in them. Then, they perfmmed a purification puja for me. This took nearly two hours. I sat there and enjoyed the moment, think­ ing, "Oh, I am an important man." Afterwards, I rested for a while, went outside, and talked to the others. I was told that they had come because of me, as I was an important reincarnation. But, I did not really know what exactly was happening, mainly because I was only five years old.

After two days, these monks went away and I thought they had gone for good. But, two or three days later, my mother and many of my relatives said that we had to go to Derge Gonchen, the capital, where the king of Derge lived. They prepared horses and clothing for everybody. We were almost twenty people, trav­ elling toDerge Gonchen. When we arrived, I met my father, who was living there and was in the service of the king of Derge. There, I also met the monks again. They were there to talk to my father and to the king ofDerge. The next day, we went to see the king ofDerge. We spent a few days there, until they decided that I should live inDerge Gonchen until I grew up. The king ofDerge

offered me one of his small palaces to live in. So, I lived there with my teacher. There was also an attendant and a monk, who did pujas in a small temple of the palace. From then on, I lived in the monastery. But I was not a monk or a reincarnation of the monas­ tery of Derge Gonchen, because Derge Gonchen is a Sakyapa monastery. The reincarnation I had been recognized as, at the age of five, by Gyalwa Karmapa and the king ofDerge, belongs to the Kagyildpa tradition. I lived there to receive an education and, slowly slowly, to grow up. In fact, the king of Derge took care of me. I spent several years there, until I was nine years old.



Derge G6nchen belongs to the Sakyapa tradition, but the founder of the monastery was Thangtong Gyalpo. Thangtong Gyalpo was a student of a Sakyapa Lama called Ngorchen (1382-1444), the founder of the Ngorpa tradition of the Sakyapa school. For that reason, Derge G6nchen belongs to the Sakyapa tradition, although generally Thangtong Gyalpo is not considered to be a Sakyapa. Of course, Thangtong Gyalpo received many teachings and had many other teachers. In particular, he received many teachings from Padmasambhava through pure vision. In general, Thangtong Gyalpo is considered to be a drubthob, one of the famous Mahasiddhas of Tibet. And Thangtong Gyalpo is a special Mahasiddha, because many people called him Mahasid­ dha Chagsampa, which means 'iron bridge builder'. In those days, it wasn't easy to build an iron bridge over such a wide river as the Tsangpo [Brahmaputra]. First of all, Thangtong Gyalpo built an iron bridge near Lhasa, at a place called Palchen Chuwori. Then, he became an expert in this field and built several iron bridges in different places. The Tibetans also believe that he built these iron bridges through his spiritual power. Thangtong Gyalpo is also a significant figure in the Tibetan arts. For example, there is a Tibetan dance called Ache Lhamo, in which one uses masks and in which one talks, sings and dances very fast to the music of drums. This tradition comes from Thang­ tong Gyalpo. Thangtong Gyalpo is also very interesting for his resemblance to the Kagyiidpa master Gampopa. He was not a scholar like Gampopa, but a Mahasiddha. He woke up inwardly and had great capacity, including the capacity to integrate equally many things from different teachings. His teaching, called Than­ gyal Nyengyiid, is very interesting. When I was not quite thirteen

years old, I received this teaching from my uncle. But, of course, I did not have the chance to study everything very precisely. I only remember that I received the teaching. That is all.



One day while I was working at the University of Naples, I taught on Thangtong Gyalpo within the context of literature. This was in 1973. I spoke for a long time about the history ofThang­ tong Gyalpo, his work the Thangyal Nyengyiid, what it contains, and how he presented the teaching. I thought, at the time, that spending a long time explaining all this was, perhaps, the second­ ary cause for a very interesting dream I had that night. In those days, I was living close to the sea, near Naples, in a very nice place. One night, I had the following dream. It started with me being somewhere and suddenly there was a very loud sound, like an earthquake. I looked around and everything was shaking and moving, and it seemed like a big earthquake. I got up, very worried about my wife and my children, asking myself where they might be. The place we lived in was a very nice house near the sea, which was also very old and which might very easily have caved in. I got up, wanting to see where they were. But, suddenly, I felt something under my feet - something like balls under my feet. Simultaneous with this impression of moving earth and of balls under my feet, I had the feeling of something like air pushing me up very high into space. At that moment, I did not have many concepts because of this shooting up. It seemed that I had arrived in a space between the clouds. When I stopped there, my first thought was to remove these balls, in case they pushed me up still higher. I looked down at my feet, but there was nothing there. At that moment, I felt very calm. There was nothing there to disturb me except clouds. I couldn't see very much. I was not on earth and it seemed as if I was on the clouds. But, I was stable and did not fall. Then, slowly, I found I could see far away, between the clouds, lights of different colours. So, I thought that something had to be there. When I looked more closely, the clouds became lighter and I saw a mountain, and on this mountain there appeared some lights. I thought of going in that direction and walked slowly for a long time. Everything was very quiet and, after a little while, I could


hear something that sounded like little bells. I looked around and met two beings, just like human beings, both attractive, though I didn't know whether they were male or female. They were cov­ ered in very long, shimmering dresses, which reached down to their feet. In one hand, they were holding something made of many strings, like a fan or a tassel. When they reached me, they recog­ nized me. I was very surprised. How could they know my name? But they said, "Oh, we knew you were coming and we have been waiting for you." I was surprised and said, "I'm trying to go to this mountain." One of them said, "Yes, this mountain is called Kun­ nang Khyabpa, which means 'you can see everywhere' and, also, 'pervading'. It's the name of one of the places of Thangtong Gyalpo.There are many sacred places ofThangtong Gyalpo and this is one of them." I thought this was interesting and asked them if they could help me to get there. "Of course," they replied, "We can go together."Then, we walked together in that direction and started talking. I asked them, "And do you live on this mountain?" One of them said no, they came from another dimension. The other one said, "When we reach this mountain, we can see Anye Machen from there." Anye Machen is a high mountain in East Tibet.2 They also said that on Anye Machen there was another very special place of Thangtong Gyalpo and that one of them wanted to go there. While we were talking in Tibetan, I had the impression that their speech resembled the Amdo dialect a bit. And now that they were talking about Anye Machen, I thought they might be from Amdo. So, I said, "Ah, you are from Amdo." But, they said no, they were from another dimension - another place - named Ghurawira. I had never heard that name before, so I thought it must be a place in India. I asked them if it was a part of India. They answered that Ghurawira was very far from India - not in this dimension - that Anye lay behind sixteen of these kinds of In his oral translation, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu referred to the mountain as Anye Machen. In the written account of his dream, he refers to it as Magyal Pomra. Anye Machen and Magyal Pomra are alternative names both for the mountain range in Amdo and for the deity that resides there.


dimensions, and that Ghurawira was a sacred place, one of the most important places of a particular dimension, which was like a big continent and called Akara. "This is the place where you can find Thangtong Gyalpo," they said. They were beings that lived in that dimension, so I said, "Oh, you must really be Rigdzins, real­ ized beings, otherwise how else could you come from this kind of dimension." I also told them that I would very much like to meet Thangtong Gyalpo, but that it seemed impossible, because Thang­ tong Gyalpo was so far away. But they said, "Oh, that's not a problem. You are a practitioner ofDzogchen. You know how to be beyond time, in a state of contemplation. That is called the state of diishi nyamnyid, the 'state of the fourth time'. If you are in this state, then you don't have a problem with distance." This was not new to me, as I had heard this before in another dream. I had also had some experience of this in a dream, so I believed that it was possible and said, "Yes, I'd like very much to be in that dimen­ sion." We had many more exchanges, all of which I wrote down, but which I don't think it is necessary to recount now. Eventually, we found ourselves in a state of contemplation, sing­ ing the Song of the Vajra. When we finished the Song of the Vajra, we were already there. In that place was a crystal rock, a very colourful dimension. When we arrived, we met Thangtong Gyalpo. The two beings introduced me to Thangtong Gyalpo, saying that I had come to see him. I was really very impressed and surprised, and I began to pray to Thangtong Gyalpo, thinking that it was really a great, good fortune to meet him. I said to him, "It's not so easy, particularly for me, to meet you. You are a very important teacher and have many important teachings at your disposal. Please give me the essence of the teachings!" After this request, I re­ ceived a very short teaching, a very condensed instruction of all meanings. Before the teaching ended, I became aware of the dream - I knew I was dreaming. I knew it was an important dream and thought that I should remember this important teaching. So, I con­ centrated with precision on every single detail. When the teaching finished, we remained for a long time in the state of contemplation with the sound of A. I also asked and prayed for help from Thang­ tong Gyalpo that I might remember all these teachings when I 43

woke up. Having remained in contemplation for a long time, he shouted PHAT! After a little while more, he shouted a stronger PHAT! When he shouted a last PHAT! I woke up. When I woke up, besides the sound ofPHAT there seemed to be a noise coming from outside. I remembered my interesting dream and immediately got up to find some paper on which to write it down. When I finished writing down the dream, I heard another very loud sound from outside and realized that the house we were living in was shaking a little. After breakfast, I asked the people living around us what had happened and what this sound was. We found out that fishermen were secretly bombing the water for fishing. Our house was very near the sea, so we were able to hear this and, also, to feel the tremors set off by the detonations. The fishennen couldn't do this publicly, because it was forbidden. As we were in a remote place, not many people would have no­ ticed. So, I discovered that the cause for the beginning of my dream, when I flew into space, was an explosion. And I had also been woken up by an explosion. So you see, in reality, this was a dream of clarity, but the sec­ ondary causes were the explosions and my speaking about Thang­ tong Gyalpo during the day. So, you can see how secondary causes can influence a dream. In any case, it is a very interesting teach­ ing. I couldn't remember whether this teaching existed in the nyen­

gyiid that I had received from my uncle. Through the university, I immediately ordered a copy of the writings of Thangtong Gyalpo from India. When the books arrived the following year, I read them all and found a teaching, similar to the short version I had received, in one of the books. So, I thought that this really was an interesting teaching. Now you have more of an idea of its origin. In a real sense, it is related to the Thangyal Nyengyiid. I think it is like the essence of that teaching.3

A wider account of this dream has been published as The Upadesha of the Oral Transmission ofThangtong Gyalpo in Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Longsal Teachings, Volume I, translated and edited by Adriano Clemente, Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 200 I, pp. I 07-151.


������q9 �?������ I �\��,-�����"'11�� ���·����!'!��� Great Compassionate One, Se({-Created Lord r�( Siddhas, you discovered many ancient termas and concealed numer­ ous fitture ones. Through the power of your magical vision, you subdued the universe, which is d(fficult to tame. Immortal Thangtong Gyalpo, we bow down before you! 45


( (Ia ki man tri) Lama kunsang othaye

(bla ma kun bzang 'ad mtha' yas) Yidam padma heruka

(yi dam pad ma he ru ka) Khandro sangwa yesheme

(mkha ' 'gro gsang ba ye shes mas) Kalden bu Ia chin chen phob

(skal /dan bu Ia byin chen phob) Daki means Dakini. Mantra, as you know, means 'secret'. Mantri, perhaps, is a female mode- I don't know. It might refer to Dakini Sangwa Yeshe (Tib.) or Guhyajfiana (Skt.), because

mantra means 'secret' [and sangwa and guhya both also mean 'secret']. I am not entirely sure about Dakini Mantri. Then, there are Guru, Deva and Dakini, the three roots. Lama Kunzang Othaye means the Guru is Samantabhadra. Othaye, in general, means Amitabha, but it can also refer to Samantabhadra, as Samantabhadra has an infinite potentiality of manifestation in his real condition. Yidam Padma Heruka means the Deva is Padma Heruka. Padma means Padmasambhava. Heruka is usually wrath­ ful, but can also be a joyful form.

Khandro sangwa yesheme

means the Dakini is Sangwa Yeshe: that is very clear. Sangwa Yeshe is Guhyajfiana. In our practice, for example, we generally do the practice ofDakini Simhamukha. Simhamukha is a wrathful manifestation. Sangwa Yeshe, or Guhyajfiana, is a joyful manifes­ tation, but it is the same principle. When she manifests as a guard­ ian, she is Ekajati.

Kalden hula chin chen phob means to empower the fortu­ nate (kalden) students (bu) who have the opportunity of receiv­ ing [the empowerment]. Chin chen phob means asking to re­ ceive that empowerment.


Phunsum tsog nge chi nang bar

(phun sum tshogs lngas spyi nang bar) Phunsum tsog nge means that we have perfect circumstances when we receive the teaching. In Tantric teachings, especially, we speak of the 'perfect place', where we receive the transmis­ sion. In our visualization, we don't think we are in an ordinary place: everything is transformed into the pure dimension ofTushita. We also speak of the 'perfect teacher', which means we don't consider our teacher to be ordinary: the teacher manifests in the form ofVajrasattva or Samantabhadra. 'Perfect teaching' means that we don't consider the teaching to be ordinary, like a teaching on how to do prostrations for example, but as a complete teaching on how to really be in our real nature. 'Perfect student' refers to people who are interested in the teaching, who are not just coming out of curiosity, but have a definite intention of following the teaching and attaining realization. 'Perfect moment' or 'time' means there are no disturbances or negativities that hinder us from applying and following the teaching at that time. So, these are referred to as phunsum tsog nge, the 'five perfect conditions'. In general, when we receive or apply the teachings of Tantra or Dzogchen, we need these perfect conditions. Chi nang bar means that all the aspects - outer (chi), inner (nang) and secret (bar)


of these

five conditions are perfect.

Redog kundra/ shiden cho

(re dogs kun bra! bzhi !dan chos) Zhiden cho means the Dharma with four qualifications. These can be explained and understood in different ways, depending on whether we see these qualifications in the manner of Sutra, Tan­ tra or Dzogchen. This teaching is related to Dzogchen. So, here, we must understand what is meant by 'possessing the four quali­ fications' in Dzogchen. The four qualifications are also often called the four samayas of the Dzogchen teaching. The four samayas in the Dzogchen 47

teaching do not refer to samaya in the sense of "do this" or "don't do this". That is not the meaning. The meaning is that we are in the state of these four qualifications. The first qualification [or the first of the four samayas] is called

mepa. Mepa means 'nothingness'. Nothingness means that our real nature, our real condition is kadag, 'pure since the begin­ ning'. There doesn't exist anything we can confirm. We can't say, "This is this" or, "This is that." The real nature is kadag. This is called mepa. Usually, the meaning of mepa is 'nothing'. For ex­ ample, if you ask, "When I do Dzogchen practice, what should I do?" you can receive the reply, "Nothing." This sounds strange and you probably won't understand it. If there is nothing to do, why follow the teaching? But 'nothing' here means not to concep­ tualize, not to establish anything. Mepa is our real nature of emp­ tiness. The second qualification of our real condition is called chalwa. We translate chalwa as 'all-pervading'. This means that even when we are not following thoughts and judgments, and not falling into dualistic vision, if different kinds of concepts, different kinds of analyses and different kinds of considerations exist, they are all governed with presence. There is no mental condition, or no rela­ tive condition, which is not governed by presence. The real condi­ tion of presence is then our state of meditation. This means that this state of presence pervades all circumstances. If you read the book The Six Vajra Verses, or Rigpai Kujug, you will find an explanation of mepa and chalwa: natsog rangshin mi nyi A.yang/

chashe nyidu tro dang dre/.4 Natsog means 'diversity': every­ thing can manifest. But, of course, we can't say that this is the real nature of meditation. Even when different aspects are mani­ festing, in the real sense everything is governed by instant pres­ ence. So, that is the real meaning of chalwa: we have this knowl­ edge, this qualification of Dharma.

'"Even though the nature of diversity is non-dual, in terms of individual things, it is ti·ee of conceptual elaborations." See Rigbai Kujyug, The Six Vajra

Venes, An Oral Commentmy by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Edited by Cheh­ Ngee Goh, Rinchen Editions, Singapore, 1990, p. 19.


Next, our knowledge, our understanding is lhundrub. Lhun­ drub means 'self-perfected state'. Our primordial potentiality, our

real knowledge is not missing anything. Everything can be in that state, everything is perfected in that qualification. All is perfected in this state, as it presents itself through our potentiality, thugje, or our manifestation of Sambhogakaya. When we say 'manifesta­ tion' it means 'already manifested', as a result of secondary causes. All these infinite manifestations exist because there is the qualifi­ cation of lhundrub. We do Guruyoga, for example, with the white A and thigle, which represent our primordial potentiality of sound, light and rays. Why do we say 'primordial potentiality'? Because it has not yet manifested: it is only potentiality. For example, be­ cause we have this potentiality of the five colours, we can- through the five colours- manifest hundreds and millions of different forms. This, then, is called the manifestation of Sambhogakaya. Why do we have the manifestation of Sambhogakaya? Because we have infinite potentiality and we also have secondary causes. This is how to understand the state of lhundrub. It is another qualification. Another qualification is chigpu. Chigpu means 'one', or 'sin­ gle'. Depending on different aspects, manifestations and experi­ ences, we can explain our real nature or base in tenns of essence, nature, and energy or potentiality. But the real nature is one. There are not two or three different real natures, just as in the symbol of the vajra, where the five points facing upwards represent the pure dimension and the five points facing downwards represent the impure dimension. But there is neither a state of pure dimension, nor a state of impure dimension. The real state is one. For that reason, at the centre of the vajra there is one, single ball. 'One', here, does not mean that all sentient beings share in the same or identical state. For example, in The Invocation of Samantabha­ dra, it says zhi chig lam nyi drebu nyi5• Zhi chig, here, means

'same base'. By 'same base', it is not meant that all sentient be­ ings share in the one base. Many people have this idea, which is

See Four Dzogchen Invocations, ed. A. Clemente, Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 1999.


similar to the way in whichBrahma is explained in Hinduism: the one state ofBrahma. But, this is not the meaning. Zhi chig is to be understood as the 'oneness' of the base. This is the case, because there is no difference between my primordial state, your primordial state, and the primordial state of others - same nature, same essence, same qualification. But, it doesn't mean that all sentient beings have become one. Because, even if there is no concept of an individual, the characteristic traits always remain. Here is an example from the Sutra teachings to understand this. If you want to obtain a longer life, what do you do? You do the practice ofBuddha Amitayus. If you need intelli­ gence, you do the practice of Manjushri. There is no difference between Manjushri and Buddha Amitayus: with regard to their real qualification, they are the same. But, their relationship with sentient beings when they were on the path was different and in the state of total illumination or realization, their wisdom always manifests in different ways. So, you must understand it in this way. Zhi dan cho means the teaching with that qualification. In a real sense, that qualification is the qualification of each individual. We all have, in our real potentiality, all these qualifications. But, the knowledge of this is missing. In order to have that knowledge, what do we need? We need the teaching, the transmission. Were we to follow the Hinayana teaching- receiving the vows and fol­ lowing the rules- we couldn't attain this knowledge, as that teach­ ing does not include this knowledge. This teaching, however, does include the knowledge of how to get into your four qualifications. That is then zhi dan cho. What is the characteristic condition of the Dharma, which has these four qualifications? It is re do g kundral, which means 'beyond hope and fear'. This is the kind of teaching we need.


Lobpon sum le leg lang te

(slob dpon gsum las legs blangs te) How can we receive such a teaching? From the three kinds of teachers. Lobpon means 'teacher'. Sum means 'three'. Maybe you are familiar with the three kinds of teachers from studying the Santi Maha Sangha Base text. Sometimes we speak of three kinds of teachers, sometimes of four kinds of teachers, and sometimes, also, of five kinds of teachers. But, the most important teacher is called rangrig lama tonpe lama, which means the teacher who introduces you to the discovery of your real potentiality. There is also the teacher who, through initiation, brings you into the knowl­ edge of wisdom. Another important teacher is the one who gives you instructions on how to have experiences, so that through these experiences you can get into that state. So, there are teachers who introduce directly, teachers from whom you receive empow­ em1ents for getting in a state of wisdom, and teachers who in­ struct you and bring you concretely onto the path. You need these kinds of teachers and these teachings. Then, you can get into that knowledge.

Nyimed yeshe rigpar cha

(gnyis med ye shes rig par bya) Nyimed means 'non-dual'. Yeshe means 'wisdom', related to our movements and our experiences. In general, there are many aspects of wisdom we can gain through experiences. But, when we have these kinds of experiences, we immediately fall into du­ alistic vision, in which case we are no longer in our real condition. For this reason, the teaching - particularly the Dzogchen Upade­ sha teaching - states that we need, first of all, a one hundred per­ cent capacity for Dzogchen Tregchod. Tregchod means you are beyond limitations. Treg means something like a tied obj ect. Chad means that the string breaks by itself and that you are then in a relaxed state. If you are really in that knowledge and it is inte-


grated in you, it doesn't mean that you think, "I have knowledge of Tregchod." That is not the knowledge of Tregchod. The knowl­ edge of Tregchod manifests itself. First of all, even if you have many worldly problems, you don't feel that you have problems anymore. You are free from attachments and all kinds of tensions. You manifest yourself as you really are in your life, which means you now have sufficient knowledge ofTregchod. If this doesn't take place, you do not have the capacity and Tregchod remains only an idea. If you then practise Thodgal, it only becomes an obstacle. That is why I don't teach Thodgal indiscriminately. I'm not doing business with people regarding the teaching and its meth­ ods. I don't care whether or not many people come to me to fol­ low the teaching, or whether I satisfy their curiosity with regard to the teaching. First of all, I am still on the path. I, myself, have many problems of samsara. I hope, also, to attain the realization of the rainbow body. How can I really have realization of the rain­ bow body ifl do business with the teaching?The teaching is some­ thing serious and very important. I don't want to create problems for people. I want to help people to get into the state and attain realization.Therefore, the first thing we need is a hundred percent perfect Tregchod. When I see that people really have the capac­ ity of integrating the knowledge ofTregchod in their lives, I am also prepared to collaborate with them and to teach them the prac­ tice of Thodgal. In this case, I know that people who seriously practiseThodgal can have the effect and realization of the prac­ tice.This is certain. If you practiseThodgal only out of curiosity, I guarantee that you won't realize the rainbow body. It will not work. You will have many problems with the Dharma protectors. Not only is the teacher the keeper of the teachings, the guardians are the keepers too.The transmission given by the teacher is not pos­ sible without the Dharmapalas. All teachers, even the most re­ nowned teachers, must ask permission from the Dharmapalas to give teachings and transmission. This does not refer to ordinary Dharmapalas, but to guardians like Ekajati, who is the queen of all Dakinis and keeper of all the secret and important Dzogchen teach-


ings and transmissions. When we practise seriously, the practice . becomes something real. Teachings like Tregchod, Thodgal and Yangti must be secret teachings. That means only people who are really prepared can apply them. This is what is meant by nyimed yes he, or 'non-dual wisdom'. By not falling into dualistic vision, we can get in the state of rigpa. Why are people curious and interested in Thodgal teachings? "If we practise Thodgal, we can see something wonderful, there are visions, etc." Yes, you can have some visions, because in your real nature you already have primordial potentiality. But, what do you do when you have visions? You become attached and you think, "Oh, this is nice. I like it and I want more of this." This is not the main point ofThodgal. This becomes an obstacle. With regard not only toThodgal, but also to many other practices and methods- if you are seriously interested- it is better you don't read and use that information too much. If you are really interested, you should ask a teacher to receive the teaching and transmission, and then apply it. It is, then, fresh and it works. For example, some secret teachings like Thodgal are being published nowadays. Everybody can read a public book. Even those who are not much interested in the teaching and are only curious can read it. What, then, is the meaning of 'secret' teach­ ing? And how can it work if it becomes public talk and everybody is talking about it in a bar or in a teashop, when people are drinking and talking about Thodgal? That is not serious and it is not the correct way. I have never done this in my life- this life - nor will I in future lives. I am asking you, too: it is better that you don't do this and you don't follow in this way. If you are not interested in having realization throughThodgal, then you can do this. If all you have is curiosity, of course you can do this - you may well have some visions. It is like what university professors do. University professors read every book and then they write articles about them, because they are interested in writing articles, not in realization. When I was in Italy, working with Professor Tucci, he was writing a book, The Religions of Tibet, about the teachings of the Kagyiidpa,


Nyingmapa, Gelugpa, etc. I was helping him, giving him informa­ tion about the Kagyiidpa and Nyingmapa. But, of course, I dido't give him any details about the Tregchod and Thodgal practices, which exist in the Dzogchen teachings of the Nyingmapa. He some­ times asked me to write down detailed infom1ation. I said that I was sorry, but I could not write down any details, but that, if he wanted, he could read some of the many books available. As he wanted to get some books, I found him some and gave them to him. Later on, he wrote and quoted from these books that Treg­ chod was this and Thodgal was that. In Thodgal, for instance, there is an explanation of an outer and an inner ying (Skt., dhatu). Tucci, then, drew something to represent the outer and the inner ying. When I looked at it, I couldn't understand at all what it

meant. He asked me, "Is this correct or not?" I said, "Oh, I think it's correct. It's very interesting." As I couldn't understand what he meant, other people wouldn't be able to do so either, which was, I thought, for the best. If you want, read Tucci's book and see how he explained Dzogchen!

Da shi yer miclrepe ngang

(brda bzhi dbyer mi phyed pa 'i ngang)

You are already familiar with da shi, the four signs, which are well known in the teaching of Dzogchen Longde. Da shi are re­ lated to our three experiences. To get into our real knowledge, we must use experiences. In the Sutra teaching, for example, the prac­ tice of Shine, or 'calm state', is considered very important. We start with fixation on an object, like a letter or a statue, which brings us into a state of calm. Finally, through fixation and the calm state, we get into the experience of emptiness. This is one of the experiences. The experience of emptiness is also called mi­ togpa. Mitogpa means that, even if you have many thoughts, you

are neither following the thoughts, nor judging, nor thinking. You relax, you notice there is a thought and you observe that thought. Immediately, you can find yourself in a state of emptiness. That


thought is something like a wave in the ocean, so it disappears by itself. What manifests is emptiness: you discover the experience of emptiness. In the Sutra teaching, being in the state of emptiness is considered most important, the final goal. In Dzogchen, it is one of the three main experiences. It is neither the total path, nor the only method. In Tantric teachings, most practices are related to clarity. One doesn't only remain in the space of emptiness. Once we are al­ ready in that empty space, we create with our mind and thinkingthrough the visualization of the seed syllables- the elements. We are not simply in an ordinary vision, we are creating a new, pure vision. Why do we first of all visualize the seed syllables in an empty dimension? Because sound is the root of all manifestations. From that sound arises the manifestation of the elements through different colours, and, then, through the different colours, our di­ mension of the mandala. Then, our existence manifests as per­ sonified deities. All this is developed through our imagination. It is no ordinary vision or perception. We create this in order to have that clarity. That is why we call it 'development stage'. When we become more familiar with this, we also visualize our Vajra body with the chakras and channels. Why do we need this? Because the development stage is only a product of our imagination. At that moment, we still feel we exist somewhere else. Now we visualize the chakras and the channels, which really are connected to our energy level. That is what is called 'completion stage'. For this to become something real, we also recite mantras many times. Fi­ nally, we experience the integration of the development stage and the completion stage. They do not remain separate, but are unified in one state. And then, we have total clarity. We relax in that state of clarity and we are in instant presence. This is then called the state of Mahamudra. Maha means 'to­ tal' and mudra means 'symbol'. Many people still translate Maha­ mudra as 'Great Seal'. Someone once said this and people still think it is the correct translation. But, it is an incorrect translation. It has nothing to do with a 'seal'. Sometimes we say gya, which means 'seal'. Sometimes, we read in books Samaya Gya Gya


Gya, which means that the book should be kept 'secret and sealed'. This is not the meaning ofMahamudra. If this were the meaning, then it would mean 'totally secret'. If it were totally secret, even the teacher would not be able to explain it. ExplainingMahamudra would then involve the breaking of samaya. Who could truly ex­ plainMahamudra in this case? Mahamudra does not mean 'great seal'. Mahamudra means 'total symbol', because in Tantrism everything is a symbol for rep­ resenting clarity. If you are in a totally empty state and you are doing a visualization of the seed syllable of an element, what is that? That is the symbol of the element. If you are doing a visuali­ zation of the mandala, what is that? That is the symbol of your pure dimension. Also, the deity into whom you transform is a sym­ bol of that manifestation. Otherwise, how could the manifestation of an enlightened being, like Guhyajfiana, have a lion's head? You might think that Guhyajfiana did not purify her negative karma, because she has the head of a lion. But that is not the meaning. Guhyajfiana is already beyond any kind of manifestation, form and colour. The manifestation ofSimhamukha occurred because there were secondary causes corresponding to the figure ofDakini Si­ mhamukha. Guhyajfiana Dharmakaya manifested just as a reflec­ tion in a mirror manifests - because there is an object in front of the mirror. That is then called a symbol. Whatever visualization we use in a teaching or transmission - including the Tantric devel­ opment stage - is a symbol. Symbols are not ordinary visions. For example, if there is a pig, that is a normal vision, a samsaric vision. If a pig is reflected in a mirror, the reflection is not a real pig, but is manifesting in depend­ ence on the real pig. Why is it manifesting in the mirror? Because the mirror has infinite potentiality. Equally, enlightened beings have infinite potentiality. In order to communicate with a being, they manifest as a particular figure. If they didn't manifest in that way, then how could they manifest? Nothing exists of which we can say, "This is the form ofDharmakaya." All manifestations ofDhar­ makaya are related to circumstances. These are called symbols. Our ordinary, impure visions and all our dualistic concepts are in-


tegrated within the state of the symbol. That symbol represents the total universe, all of our dimension, and the concepts of pure and impure vision. When we are in that state, that is called Maha­ mudra. This is the real meaning. It is not so very difficult to under­ stand. In Dzogchen, there are also many translations, which mention 'heart-drops'. What does one understand by 'heart-drop'? My understanding would be a drop of blood, because the heart has blood. When a drop comes from the heart, it must be blood. That is what I would understand. But this doesn't correspond to the real meaning. 'Heart drop' is a name used in the Dzogchen Upa­ desha teaching and is called nyingthig. Nyingthig is an abbrevia­ tion. The complete expression is nying gi thigle. Nying means 'heart', but it does not refer to the organ of the heart. The 'heart' means the centre of our dimension. If we say, "We visualize Sa­ mantabhadra at our heart," it doesn't mean we do the visualiza­ tion of Samantabhadra on the left side of the chest. We do the visualization at the centre of our body, because we have a dimen­ sion and this dimension has a centre. This is the principle of the mandala. Mandala means that there is a centre, together with its dimension. The centre can't be in a corner, but must be in the centre. This is the real meaning of 'heart'. The thigle you know already. We use the thigle when we practise the white A with the thigle of five colours. When we are introducing Dzogchen, we

use a peacock's feather as a symbol for the thigle. The thigle represents our total potentiality, in pat1icular our primordial poten­ tiality, which has not yet entered ditierent kinds of manifestations but is still potentiality. When, in a teaching, we speak of nying gi thigle, or the 'heart thigle', we understand this to be the most important, most essen­

tial potentiality of all. How could this then be a 'heart drop'? In this instance, people made a mistake in translation. In general, we say thig. In Tibetan,


also have the word thigpa, which means

'drop'. If you understand Tibetan grammar, you won't have any problem. The translation as 'heart-drop' is not only a mistake, but also shows that people do not know Tibetan grammar. When we


write thigle in transliteration, we spell it: THIG. When we write thigpa, we spell it THIGS - waterdrop. If there is an 's' at the end it means'drop'. But in nyingthig there is no's'. This kind of mistake is made frequently, I don't know why. So, da shi yer michepe ngang means the experiences of emp­ tiness, clarity and sensation. In Tantrism, the experience of sensa­ tion is mainly related to the practice of union, or yab and ywn. We visualize, for example, that we have become a luminous Vajrasat­ tva in the lotus position, and holding a vajra and a bell. When we are in that state, we have that clarity. That is what is meant by the experience of clarity. If we visualize being Vajrasattva in yab­ yum union and we are in that state and remain in that presence, we will not only have the experience of clarity, but we will also have sensation, because we are not made of stone like a statue, we are alive. We know the meaning of the union of yab-yum and there is a sensation. This is called the experience of sensation. It is mainly related with our physical level. So, you see, in general we have these different kinds of experiences and, mainly, these three. Sometimes, we can get into the state of real knowledge with only one of these experiences. Sometimes, we confuse the state of the experience of emptiness with real instant presence. It is not always easy to discover the state of instant presence. To make sure we have this knowledge, we apply the three das at the same moment. We are in a state of emptiness. At the same time, we are also in the experience of clarity and there are also methods for having the presence of sensation. When we are in these three experiences simultaneously, we discover our instant presence na­ kedly and there is a single presence. You discover there is no difference between the different experiences in their real nature of instant presence. This is what we generally call'same flavour', or 'same taste'. It is not necessary to have all three experiences. There can be just two experiences. For example, happiness and sorrow are two experiences. When you feel happy, you do not feel sorrowful and when you feel sorrowful, you do not feel happy. But, if you are in


a state of contemplation, in instant presence, there is no differ­ ence between happiness and sorrow: they are of the same taste, of the same nature. When you discover this, it means you are now in the state of Mahamudra or Dzogchen Tregchod. In the teach­ ing, we explain the three kinds of experiences. But in general, there are not just three experiences. In our life, everything is ex­ perience. When we taste a small morsel of food, we like the taste of some foods and we dislike the taste of others. There is a differ­ ence. It isn't the same thing. But if you are in a state of contem­ plation, you can find the same taste of these two. Sometimes, you can create this understanding with your intellect. Some people say, "Yes, that is true. Good and bad are the same thing, because good is unreal and bad is unreal. All is emptiness. When we are in emptiness, there is no difference." This is an intellectual under­ standing. But intellectual understanding is not very effective. When we look in a mirror, we know very well that the reflections are unreal. Intellectual understanding is when we know that the re­ flections are unreal, but we still believe that the objects in front of the mirror are real and we are attached to them. Real knowledge means we are really in the state of' same flavour'. Then it works.

Ne sum denpe leg kyang


(gnad gsum !dan pas legs sA.yangs na) Drib nyi shenpa kun tlrabva

(sgrib gnyis zhen pa kun bra! ba) When we have the knowledge that different experiences are of the same flavour, we apply this with the three main methods, or three main points. The three main points are related to aspects of our three existences- body, speech and mind. When we are doing a practice, we take, for example, with our body the position of the Dzogchen Longde style. With regard to the condition of our en­ ergy, we gaze into space in a specific way. The important point regarding the mind is that we do not fall into dualism, but remain in instant presence, in a relaxed state. If we apply these methods,


we can overcome or purify two obstacles. First, obstacles related with our emotions - these are always created when we are in samsara. Secondly, obstacles of knowledge and understanding we believe we now have knowledge, but we always remain within the boundaries of intellectual knowledge, which is a very heavy obstacle. Thus, we can overcome these kinds of obstacles and their resulting attachments. Finally, we can meet the unique, self­ perfected, or primordial state ofDzogchen.

Nyagchig zangtlral go11gpa jal (nyag gcig zang thai dgongs pa mjal) This means the unique way of how we can get into our real nature or meet with our real nature.

Saturday afternoon As we have said already, by applying the Four Das, with the three main points, we can get into the knowledge, the understand­ ing of the single state, into our real nature. This means that, to have knowledge and understanding, we first of all need to really discover what is meant by our real nature. This is very, very im­ portant. Even if we plough a field every day, if there are no seeds nothing will grow. If we apply the methods and practices of the Sutra teaching, we do not have a problem. Equally, in Tantrism, we learn various methods of transformation and we enter into the transformation. Maybe it is difficult to get into a state of contem­ plation through clarity, but we know how to do the transformation and how to chant mantras. Therefore, also in Tantrism, we have less of a problem. But when we are following the Dzogchen teach­ ing, it is really important that we are careful. The problem is that we easily confuse intellectual understanding with real understand­ ing. Many people think, "I have understood!" and then they are satisfied and pretend to beDzogchen practitioners. 60

If you think that you have understood, that is a problem, be­ cause there is nothing to understand. That is only intellectual un­ derstanding. It is not that you understand something with your consideration, but that you discover it. Discovering and under­ standing are two very different things. Understanding relates mostly to our idea of intellectual knowledge. To have a more serious un­ derstanding, we need to use experiences: in particular, the experi­ ence of emptiness, the experience of clarity, and the experience of sensation, through which we must reach the 'same flavour', the 'same taste'. We must discover this concretely. Otherwise, people remain on the level of considerations and are satisfied with that. Someone might say, "Oh, the practice of Shine is fantastic. I can easily get into a state of meditation!" If you can really get into a state of contemplation like that, you can also get there through the experience of clarity. It is not necessary to have only the ex­ perience of emptiness. If you get into a state of contemplation through the experience of emptiness - as in Shine- it seems easy. But, you neglect the experience of clarity. That means you are not in the state of contemplation. It is very, very important that you remember the explanation given by one of our teachers, Nub Sangye Yeshe. Sangye Yeshe gives us an important example. If we feed chickens, or other birds, by throwing seeds on the ground, when the birds are eating, they are picking up the seeds one by one. At that moment, it seems as if the birds are looking at the ground, though, in fact, they do not actually see it. They are con­ centrating on the seeds. That is one example. Another example is that of someone putting a thread through a needle: in order to see clearly, they look up into the sky and put the thread through the hole in the needle. It seems as if the person is looking at the sky, but he does not actually see it, because he is concentrating on the hole and the thread, and is not looking at the sky.ln the same way, when we get into a calm state, or have the experience of empti­ ness, we are pretending to be in a state of contemplation, in our real nature. But, we are not in our real nature. We are just con­ centrated in a one-pointed way on this calm state, or experience of emptiness. Our real nature, that which is called instant pres61

ence, is not only emptiness, not only clarity, but is of the 'same taste', and is present in all kinds of experiences. If a person thinks that Shine - the 'calm state' - is fantastic, that is fine, but it is not really the same as being in a state of contemplation. You are only practising Shine. Instead of Shine, it is much better if you do one of the Semdzins, for example the Semdzin where you visualize a white A on the tip of your nose. This is much more powerful than ordinary Shine. But, in general, people don't understand this. First of all, we visualize a white A on the tip of our nose. This doesn't mean we put a white A on the tip of the nose, we imagine it. Through this fixation without an object we can get in a one-pointed way into the state of Shine. But, we do not just remain in this one-pointed way, thinking there is a white A. We combine the visualization with our breathing. Exhaling, we imagine that the white A is slowly moving further away. When we inhale, we imagine that the white A is coming back towards the tip of our nose. We train with this movement. When we are doing a practice like Shine, first of all we simply get into a calm state. Later, when we have at least a little capacity to deal with movements, like the movement of thoughts, the prac­ tice is called Lhagthong, or 'insight' (Skt. Vipashyana). When you perceive that the white A is moving - moving away and moving back again - that is already movement, Lhagthong. When you do this practice, you have the realization of both, Shine and Lhag­ thong, not only of one. You have the capacity of dealing with move­ ment and do not simply remain in a one-pointed state. Some people say, "Oh, I like Shine very much because I can remain in this peaceful, calm state for a long time without having any problems!" It is true that if you become increasingly familiar with the state of Shine, you can stay for many years in that state without having any problems. But, as long as we have our physi­ cal body, even if we stay one or two hours doing a sitting practice, at some point we need to go to the kitchen to eat something or, we need to go to the toilet. Also, if you don't sleep for two or three days, you wouldn't be able to stay alive. All this is related to our having a physical body. Even if you are a very good practitioner of Shine, you will discover that you still don't have the capacity to 62

deal with these movements. Shine means that you remain in a one-pointed way in the calm state. If we notice movement around us, we are worried, "Oh, I need to be careful. If I notice and go after the movement, I will lose this state." If we ask people who practise Shine more in the Sutra style whether they integrate their practice with circumstances - for example with movement and the function of the senses - they reply, "Yes, I do integrate!" If we then ask them how they are integrating, they say, "When I am in a calm state, I can hear when someone is making a noise, I notice if someone is going some­ where, or doing something." The state of Shine doesn't mean that you fall asleep. There is always a kind of presence, so of course you notice what is happening around you. But, you are not dealing with it at all. You always remain in a one-pointed way in that state. When you have finished with your sitting practice, you are then sometimes more agitated, because you have no cap acity to deal with movements. Why do you have this problem? Because, in­ stead of being in your real nature, you are just in a state of empti­ ness, as if you are resting in that state. If you are travelling some­ where, you can travel on different paths, but you must continue your journey. You can't just stop when you find a comfortable hotel, and then feel, "Oh, this is realization." For this reason we need the experience of the 'same flavour'. This is also the reason why Gampopa presented the Mahamu­ dra teaching. Gampopa first presented what is called tsechig. Tse­ chig means that through 'one-pointedness' you can get into the state of emptiness. In general, this is mainly related to the Hinaya­ na style of Buddhism. If you follow the Theravada teaching, they also practise Shine. Second, he presented trodrel. Triidrel means 'beyond concepts'. This is linked to the Madhyamaka practice. The principle of Madhyamaka is to go beyond any kind of con­ cept. Third, there is rochig. Rochig means 'same flavour'. This refers to experiences related to the Tantric teachings, when we really discover what is our real condition, our real state. Rochig doesn't mean we think intellectually that good and bad are the same thing. Many people explain it in this way. They say that rochig means 'same flavour', because the real nature of both 63

good and bad is emptiness, and when you are in the state of emp­ tiness you find they are the same. But, this is intellectual under­ standing. In a real sense, when you have an experience of both good and bad when you are in the state of instant presence, then there is no difference. When you discover this, you then have the capacity of being in that state when you have some problems. This is the real meaning of rochig. Fourth, Gampopa presented gommed. Gommed means 'be­ yond meditation'. Now, one is really beyond actions. This means one is totally integrated. Before this, we have the idea, "Now I should do some practice," and then you sit in a specific position and do something in a precise way. At that moment, you have a vety precise idea, "Oh, I am doing meditation." It seems as if there is something to do, like doing meditation. But, when you discover that everything is of the 'same taste' and you are really in that state, then there is nothing in particular to do. For example, if you are sleeping, that could be your position, that could be your meditation state. The same applies if you are walking or doing anything else. Everything is integrated in the state of contempla­ tion. This is what 'beyond meditation' really means. In the Dzogchen teaching, this state is called the state of !hun­ drub. Lhundrub means 'self-perfected state', everything is inte­ grated in our real nature. For this reason, it is very, very important that we make sure, first of all, that we have this knowledge con­ cretely. When we have the correct knowledge, then what should we do? We then integrate and remain forever in that state. This is the main point that is explained in Dzogchen Tregchod. When you know how to be in total relaxation in your real state, you should learn how to stay in that state forever and in any circumstance. In Upadesha, this is called the Four Chogzhags. In general, people think that the Four Chogzhags are synony­ mous with Dzogchen TregchOd. But, in a real sense, the Four Chogzhags do not specifically mean Tregchod. The real meaning ofTregchod is to get into your real knowledge, into your real con­ dition, to totally relax in the state of your real nature. We introduce that knowledge and understanding in Dzogchen Semde, Longde and Upadesha. All the Dzogchen teachings include this principle. 64

The name Tregchod is mainly used in Dzogchen Upadesha. For that reason, people think that Tregchod is the same as the Four Chogzhags. In fact, the Four Chogzhags are an explanation of how we can continue in that state. That is all. There are different ways of explaining the Four Chogzhags. Sometimes, you receive a more intellectual explanation of the Chogzhags. This leads to the assumption that there is something to do [step by step] in relation to the Chogzhags: first Chogzhag, second Chogzhag, then the third Chogzhag, and finally you reach the fourth Chogzhag- something like that. But, in a real sense it is not like that. Whilst the Four Chogzhags are explained as four different aspects, these are related to all of our existence in gen­ eral. For example, we have body, speech and mind. When we are in a state of contemplation how should our body be? How should our speech or energy level be? And how should our mind be? To be in a state of contemplation doesn't mean to be doing some­ thing, but is simply about being in that instant presence. There is no difference between an instant presence of the body and an instant presence of the voice, etc. We speak of nyagchig, or the 'single state'. This is the state of contemplation. Who is in this single state? We are in this state. Our body, speech and mind are all in that state, at that moment. This is the reason why each as­ pect of body, speech and mind are explained one by one. For ex­ ample, before we do a very simple Tantric practice, we are given information about how to sit for that practice. In a text it says that you sit down in a comfortable place, in the position ofVairochana, etc. Then, there are explanations on how to breathe, and so on. Why? Because, your existence not only involves your body, but also your voice or your energy. After explaining the breathing, the text explains which kind of meditation or concentration you need to do. All that, then, is the information about how body, speech and mind should be at that moment. We have that attitude. For that reason, in the Dzogchen teaching also, it is explained in the Treg­ chod instructions how our body, speech and mind should be when we are in a state of contemplation. The first Chogzhag, which is related to the body, is called Riwo Chogzhag. Riwo means 'mountain', chogzhag means being in a 65

relaxed state, leaving everything just as it is, without changing or modifying anything. In the Upadesha teaching, one always uses this name, chogzhag. Chogzhag is a Tibetan word, which, roughly translated, means, "Don't touch, don't do anything, be quiet." This is a word used often by parents when speaking to their children. When the children are touching things and doing something they shouldn't do, they say, "Chog gi zhag!" That is chogzhag: it is not a complicated word. But, we don't use the word chogzhag in the Semde and Longde teaching. In Longde, we mainly use the word lhugpa. If you read my book The Cycle of Day and Night6 you will find the word lhugpa. It means to be 'totally relaxed', not to have any kind of tension. It has the same meaning as chogzhag. In relation to the body, we speak ofRiwo Chogzhag. Why do we use the term riwo? Riwo means 'mountain'. We remain re­ laxed like a mountain. It doesn't mean we are solid like a moun­ tain, without moving. In Sutra, we sometimes also have this kind of explanation say riwo tabu ting nge dzin, which means that we are in a state of contemplation without movement or change, al­ ways staying in that state. But here, it does not have this meaning. Here, riwo, or mountain, is used as an example. In our dimension, we have many different kinds of mountains: big mountains, small mountains, sharp-edged mountains, huge and massive mountains, high and low mountains, and so on. This is similar to our situation and our condition. We have many different kinds of circumstances and, depending on the particular circumstance, we behave in dif­ ferent ways. Sometimes we walk, sometimes we sleep or lie down, sometimes we work, sometimes we sit in a meditation position. There are different conditions. But, a big mountain and a small mountain, hills and sharp-edged mountains, all rest in their nature. For example, Mount Everest has sharp edges because it consists mainly of rocks, whereas a mountain of sand cannot have sharp edges. How something is, is related with the situation and circum­ stance. Knowing how a situation is, or how the condition is, one Chiigyal Namkhai Norbu, The Cycle ofDay and Night and its Relation to the Original Teaching "The Upadesha of Vajrasattva

Arcidosso 2003.



Shang Shung Edizioni,

just is or one just stays in that way, without changing or modifying anything.This is the real meaning.lf, for example, you want to be in a state of contemplation and, at that moment, you are lying down on a bed, it is not necessary that you immediately get up and sit in a meditation position in order to be in a state of contempla­ tion. You can be in a state of contemplation when you are lying down. You can also be in that state while you are walking. You don't change anything, there is no need to change anything in whatever circumstance you find yourself in.This is the real meaning ofRiwo Chogzhag. If you want to do a puja in the KriyaTantra style, or a similar kind of practice, you need to be in a pleasant place with a very good atmosphere. You prepare the altar and the offerings, and then you invite the wisdom ofTara or Avalokiteshvara, and then you pray and do the practice. You cannot do this practice on the spur of the moment without these preparations, without having the correct conditions. But, you can do Chogzhag anywhere, what­ ever your position is. At the moment you have presence, just that is your position. So, this is what is meant by Riwo Chogzhag being in a relaxed state in your condition, as it is. There are many other, more intellectual explanations forRiwo Chogzhag. Some explanations state that the name Riwo Chogzhag is used because when we have that knowledge it is like being on top of a big mountain. We can see everywhere, in all directions, without obstacles and without limitations. As I said yesterday, in general we say chig she kun drol, which means, "When you discover one, you discover all." You can explain that qualification in terms of Riwo Chogzhag, but as Riwo Chogzhag refers to a way of doing practice, it has not strictly speaking to do with that. The second Chogzhag is called Gyatso Chogzhag. Gyatso means 'ocean' inTibetan. You know, for example, that the name of the Dalai Lama isTenzin Gyatso. All the Dalai Lamas have the name of Gyatso.That is because they were called Dalai Lama by the Mongolians. In the Mongolian language, Dalai means 'ocean' and, therefore, the Dalai Lama is the 'Lama of the ocean.' We elucidate this by saying 'ocean of wisdom'. But, the expression 'ocean of wisdom' does not derive from the Mongolian. The first


Dalai Lama had this name and, since then, all Dalai Lamas used this name. Similarly, all the Karmapas have the name Dorje (Skt., Vajra). In this case, we could also say Dorje Lama. It doesn't mean that we say Dorje Lama because the Karmapa's qualifica­ tion is like a Vajra. We use this name because all the Karmapas are called Dorje. In the Dzogchen teaching, 'ocean' is used as a secret name for 'eyes', because we consider that the ocean can manifest all the reflections of the entire universe. The same applies to our vision, all our vision appears through our eyes. For that reason, then, in the teaching the eyes were given the secret name of 'ocean'. This means, to leave our eyes, our 'ocean', in a relaxed, natural way. And, whilst 'ocean' refers to our eyes, it also refers to all of our senses. When we speak of the five or six senses, we always start with the eyes. In the Prajiiaparamita Hridaya Sutra of Mahayana, for example, it says, "There are no eyes, there is no nose, there are no ears..." The text first mentions the eyes, then the other senses, until we understand that all the senses are ulti­ mately not existing. That's the reason why 'ocean', the eyes, come first, as they represent all our senses. What should be the position of our eyes when we are in instant presence, in a state of contemplation? It is not necessary to close our eyes. Many practitioners of Tantrism close their eyes when they need to do complicated visualizations of mandalas, deities, etc. When you close your eyes, it is easier to get into another dimension with your imagination. For that reason, the eyes are closed when we have this attitude. In Dzogchen it is not neces­ sary to close our eyes. It is the function of the senses and, particu­ larly, of the sense organs to have contact with objects. The eyes are for seeing objects, the ears are for hearing, the nose is for smelling, etc. If you close your sense organs it means that you are cutting off all these contacts. This is not the way of a Dzogchen practitioner. In Dzogchen practice, we don't care if there are ob­ jects. We have contact with these objects. We do not remain in a one-pointed way, as in the Shine practice. When you remain in a one-pointed way, it means you focus on the calm state. But, being


in instant presence means that you are ready to receive informa­ tion through your senses, because you have the capacity to deal with it. Movements, visions and perceptions, all contact with the senses and with objects, is your qualification. For that reason, many practitioners ofDzogchen leave their eyes open when they are in contemplation. In particular, when you do a sitting practice, your eyes are open. When your eyes are open, it also means your ears, your nose and all your sense organs are open. When your senses have contact with objects, you recognize this as being part of your clarity. You do not fall into dualistic vision and you are not condi­ tioned by it. This is what we learn in theDzogchen teaching. This is the reason why we say Gyatso Chogzhag. Also, for example, sometimes we lie down on the bed and we rest. At that moment, our eyes are closed. If, as you are lying down, you are in the state of instant presence or contemplation, it is not necessary for you to open your eyes immediately. Your eyes can stay closed. In any case, you don't change or modify any­ thing. As it is at that moment, you stay that way. In general, when we do any kind of practice, we receive infor­ mation on how to breathe. Here, there is no particular inforn1ation about how to breathe, but, instead, on how to look or gaze with our eyes, because gazing with our eyes is related to the breathing. When you fix on an object without moving and stay in a one­ pointed way on that object, observe how you breathe. Your breath­ ing automatically becomes very calm and, when you remain deeply in that one-pointed way, your breathing also becomes deep as well as calm. Our breathing is always dependent on the function of the senses and the mind. That is why, for example, when we learn Yantra Yoga, we learn how to breathe correctly and we re-edu­ cate our breathing through the practice of kumbhaka and rhyth­ mic breathing. Some people say, "Why do we need to re-educate our breathing? We all breathe in a normal and natural way." But, this is not true. We do not breathe naturally. Our breathing is al­ ways conditioned by the mind. If we are agitated, our breathing is agitated. If we are relaxed, our breathing is also relaxed. There­ fore, we need to re-educate ourselves and learn to breathe in a


correct way, so that we can live safely in our society and in our condition. This is the meaning of Gyatso Chogzhag, the second Chogzhag. The third Chogzhag is called Rigpa Chogzhag. Rigpa means 'instant presence'. In general, in a teaching, we say nang gyu rig. Nangwa - vision, gyuwa


movement, and rigpa - the instant

presence, which is noticing that. When we are in the experience of emptiness, as in Shine, then we speak of nepa and gyuwa. Nepa means to remain in the experience of emptiness. In any

case, no matter whether we experience vision, or a calm state of emptiness, or movement, at that moment there is always an in­ stant presence. When we discover that instant presence, that is then the real state of meditation. Conversely, when we learn to do some visualization or transformation, that is something created with our mind, with our judgment. The state of rigpa means [to be] beyond judgment. Everything we are doing when we do a visuali­ zation, etc., is related to our mind and takes place within time and limitation. In fact, there is nothing to learn, nothing particular to do - like a visualization or a concentration - except just to be in that instant presence. This means, in a concrete way, not to be in the mind, but in the nature of mind. This is called Rigpa Chogzhag and is related to the aspect of the mind. In Dzogchen, we say that the Dzogchen teaching leads through the mind directly to the nature of mind. For example, the mind is like a reflection in a mirror. The function of the reflection is that, through the reflections, we can discover the potentiality of the mirror. In the same way, we stay in the state that is called Rigpa Chogzhag, relaxed in that instant presence, not modifying, changing, or constructing anything. Now you know how the body should be, how the aspects of all the functions of the senses should be, and how our mind should be, when we are in instant presence. The last Chogzhag is called Nangwa Chogzhag. Nangwa7 means 'vision'. Vision represents all of our dimension. In general, The Tibetan word nangwa encap sulates the notion of non-dual vision. It refers to both the app earance as well as the perception of this appearance (J. Winkler's Note).


we remain in kam1ic vision, in an impure vision. What do we need to do when we are in contemplation? Do we have to purify or transform that impure vision into pure vision, or not?Transforma­ tion is the path ofTantra. InDzogchen, we don't need to do that. It doesn't matter if there is impure vision. Until we have purified all causes of negative kanna, we can still have impure vision. What is important is that we do not fall into dualistic vision. When we do not fall into dualistic vision, we can still have impure vision. But, at that instant, there is no difference between impure and pure vi­ stan. In theDzogchen teaching, Nangwa Chogzhag is explained in this way. Many Buddhist traditions, in particular those of the gradual Sutra system, imply that the system ofDzogchen is similar to the [Ch'an] teaching of the Chinese master Hashang. Because Ha­ shang says, "If we are in the absolute truth, in the real meaning of shunyata, and, at that moment, there is good or bad, it doesn't matter.There is no difference, because we are not conditioned by either one. We are in absolute truth and we do not follow after good or bad." Usually, when something is good, we say, "Oh, we must accept good things," and use them, for example, to accumu­ late merit. We try to increase good actions in order to accumulate merit and try to give up all negative actions.This is what is applied to a great extent in the gradual path of Sutra. Conversely, in the non-gradual Sutra teachings of Hashang, this is not deemed rel­ evant, as the main point is to be in absolute truth. Should you con­ centrate too much on these things, they might become an obstacle for getting into absolute truth. It is irrelevant if a cloud is black or white, for both are clouds that cover the sun. Either way, they constitute an obstacle. This is how it was explained by Hashang, which upset the followers of the gradual Sutra tradition. This is the reason why the Tibetans have always negated the Chinese Buddhist tradition of that period. There is a similar explanation in theDzogchen teaching. If we are in the state of contemplation, there is, of course, no difference between pure and impure vision - it doesn't matter. But, the dif­ ference is that Dzogchen is not saying, "We must negate these


things and we should only apply this." In Dzogchen, this depends on our capacity and our condition. If we are not in contemplation, of course there is a difference between good and bad. Yet, we do not always consider this to be an obstacle. This is the real mean­ ing ofNangwa Chogzhag. Whilst the explanations appear some­ what similar, in reality they are not the same. There is also some­ thing like this in the Tantric teaching. Some teachers, like Tilopa and Pha Tampa, frequently advised their students that the prob­ lem is not the vision, but the attachment to the vision. Practitioners of Tantra think they must transform the impure vision into pure vision, so that then everything will be alright. This is why many Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra say, "This is the path, but the final goal is not to remain in this concept." We must understand that the problem is attachment. If we fall into dualistic vision, then we have attachment. In the Dzogchen teaching, Nangwa Chogzhag means that eve­ rything in our dimension- no matter whether it is pure or impure vision - is an ornament. In the teaching, it says nangwa rigpai gyen, which means that all visions are ornaments of the primor­

dial state, or instant presence. An ornament increases beauty, not problems. Thus, even if there are different kinds of visions, if we are not conditioned by them and do not fall into dualistic vision, they don't matter. The nature of a mirror never falls into dualistic vision when reflections appear, thinking, "Oh, I like this reflection, I want it," or, "I don't like this reflection, I reject it." When the mirror manifests everything in a very clear, very detailed and very pure way, this corresponds to the qualification of the mirror. Nangwa Chogzhag means exactly that. Regardless of the situa­ tion, we remain in a state of contemplation. We integrate in that state. The real meaning is to be in a state of integration. This is the last Chogzhag. To apply these Four Chogzhags simultaneously and to remain in that state forever means that one is a Dzogchen practitioner. You must remember this. It is extremely important. Here, we are not talking about visualizing deities, chanting mantras, praying, or reciting invocations. Here, it says that you try to be in your real nature. This is our consideration of realization and everything else. 72

This isDzogchen. It is important that you remember this. Other­ wise, people who learnDzogchen for many years can be forever fixated on doing puj as, reading books, and doing many different practices. All these are relative. We are familiar with this attitude and this kind of practice from the Tantric style of doing things. But, if you really are aDzogchen practitioner, you don't add on, you reduce. I told my students many years ago that it is very good to do the practices contained in the Thun book - the Short, Medium and Long Thuns - particularly if they are done collectively. This is very good. But I hope that, one day, my students will only use A and remain in that state. I am much more satisfied if someone only uses A and has the capacity to stay integrated all the time in a state of contemplation. Last year, one of our practitioners died in California. Before he died, many other practitioners sent me e-mails asking me what they could do. Some people suggested that he should learn and then do the practice of Phowa. But, he hadn't yet learned this practice and it wouldn't have been easy for him to learn it at that time. So, I said, "If he has been following my teachings for some years, he should at least know very well how to do Guruyoga and how to do the Practice of the Night." When we go to sleep, we do Guruyoga, we are in the presence of the white A and we fall asleep. Sleeping and dying are more or less alike, there is not much difference. If you can fall asleep in the presence of the white A, you can also die in that way. This is much more important than ordinary Phowa. When we explain the practice of Phowa, we speak of the Phowa ofDharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nir­ manakaya. We know thatDharmakaya refers to the essence. The Phowa of Dharn1akaya means that we die in a state of contem­ plation, in a state ofDharmakaya. It is very easy for one of our practitioners to do Guruyoga, to remain in that state, and then to die. Therefore, I said that he didn't need to do Phowa, nor any complicated things, that he should remain in the presence of Gu­ ruyoga and try to die in that state. When he died, he sounded A twice: the first time strongly, the second time short, and then he


died. When I heard this, I was very satisfied. What is needed is something like this. We will all die one day. We don't know when. Someone may die sooner, someone later. Many people think that they are still young and will not die, and that older people will surely die before them. But many young people die before old people. There is no rule. We die in any case. So, what should we do when we are dying? If you are a practitioner, you must be prepared. Therefore, you should learn well how to doGuruyoga, so that you can be in the state ofGuruyoga when you die. In that case, you won't need any help from others. You will be able to help yourself. You will become independent. That is the best way, because when we die, we die alone, not as a group of people.

Clwgzhag shi yi arlated (cog bzhag bzhi yis ar fa gtad) Alongside the Four Chogzhags we practise Arted. Arted means that we do not remain in concepts, but that we stay in instant presence, in a state of integration. If we are outdoors, we gaze into 'space' (the sky) and remain in that presence. This is called Namkha Arted, 'arted of space'. When we are in that state, at that moment there is no concept of, "Space is there, I am here." If we have this thought, it means we are in dualistic vision. When you see the blue sky, the blue sky represents your dimension and you, too, are that blue sky which you are seeing. There is no dual­ ity, no subject and object. Namkha Arted involves gazing into space. But, you can be in a state of arted with regard to everything, not just with regard to space. At the beginning, practising Namkha Arted with space is easier. But we have five senses- or six, including the mind and its objects. They all have a subject-object relation. We are always in and remain in this dualistic vision. When you are in instant pres­ ence, then all the functions of your senses - subject and object - do not fall into dualism, but share in the same principle of instant presence. It is easier still to be in this state when you do Guruyoga 74

with the white A and integrate everything in one state with the Song of the Vajra. Now you can understand why we are always singing the Song of the Vajra and how important this is. The next verse says: Dorje sum gyi ying rig se

(rdo rje gsum gyis dbyings rig bsre) The Three Vajras are the states of body, speech and mind. All our considerations, our visions of good and bad, everything, are part of the manifestation of the Vajra of the body. All manifesta­ tions of sound and translucent manifestations of the energy level are part of the Vajra of the voice. All our thoughts and judgments, and all that arises continually, constitute the state of the Vajra of the mind. From this viewpoint, when we speak of the Three Vajras, they represent all, the totality.

Ying means dimension, and rig (rigpa) means instant pres­ (rig) as if this was something outside of the dimension (ying). We, also, do not have ence. We do not remain in instant presence

any subtle perceptions of considering the space as Dharmadhatu or as something else.

Ying rig se means a state of total integra­

tion. This term is often used in Anuyoga.

Khor de nyi tog chonam ktm

('khor 'das gnyis rtog chos rnams kun) The way in which we consider samsara and nirvana is, gener­ ally, that we perceive samsara as something that is not good and nirvana as something that is good. Besides samsara and nirvana, there are infinite other dualistic visions, such as good and bad, high and low, etc. All dhannas, all phenomena, are related to dualistic vision. Yet in the real sense, everything is perfected within our potentiality. This is what is meant by the principle of the mandala. In Tibetan, mandala is translated as

kyilkhor. Words like this

were sometimes translated very precisely into Tibetan by transla­ tors like Vairochana and others, who, as realized beings, knew the 75

true meaning of the words, not just a received meaning. Later, other translators were more dependent on the use of dictionaries. A word can have many different meanings and one needs to choose which one to use. In Sanskrit, the words mandala and yoga do not convey the clear and precise meaning which is inherent in the Tibetan words. Take kyilkhor, for example, the Tibetan transla­ tion of mandala. Kyil means 'centre'. This refers to the fact that our total potentiality is kyil, the 'centre'. Where there is a poten­ tiality, there is also its dimension, its manifestations. That is what is referred to by khor, namely our real potentiality. In our real poten­ tiality, everything is perfected. That is why we say, "When we discover one, we discover all."

Rangrig nyagchig longdu a

(rang rig n_vag gcig klong du a) Our real nature is the state of rigpa. There are no different rigpas, no different natures. There is only one, unique rigpa and a unique state. That state is A. You can now understand that A means to be forever in this state. The same principle applies when we sound A to do Guruyoga. This is different from the A sung by aboriginal people. I have a friend, an aboriginal man, who travels around leading dream-time retreats. He sometimes comes to our retreats in Australia. He was there, once, when we sounded A, remained in that state, and then sung the Song of the Vajra. He watched everything with great interest. Later, he told me that he had done several retreats, in different places, with hundreds of people attending and that they had sung A several times. He said it had been wonderful, the whole valley had been filled with the sound of A. But, we do not sound A in this way. We know that A represents our real potentiality. The letter A is related to a living transmission. Here, it says that we remain with the A in our real potentiality, in the unique state.


Chi nang sangwe dushi nam

(phyi nang gsang ba 'i bdud nzhi rnam!.) Tulshug sang sum chope chod

(brtul zhugs gsang gsum spyod pas gcod)

In Thangtong Gyalpo's teaching, the Thangyal Nyengyiid, there is a very interesting Chod practice, which involves many explanations. In particular, there are very detailed explanations on diid (Skt., mara, rudra), on the outerRudra, the innerRudra, and

the secretRudra. In general, when we speak ofRudra, we under­ stand it to refer to a devil, or to some terrible kind of being. But here, it is a little different. The text states that the word does not always refer to a devil. The outer Rudra does refer to those be­ ings, which have the capacity to provoke and create problems for others. But, the inner Rudra does not refer to any such kind of being. The innerRudra is our ego. If we are friends with our ego, we will have infinite problems which are much more powerful than any outerRudra. Secret Rudra means that we create or receive obstacles with regard to our knowledge and understanding. For example, your might want to learn something of interest, such as how to do a meditation, but end up being given the wrong infom1ation- that is Rudra. When you are practising and, instead of applying the cor­ rect method, you apply something associated with your ego, that is alsoRudra. For example, some people say, "I did one week of personal retreat. I had a vision in a dream of Guru Padmasam­ bhava, or of Garab Dorje, or of my teacher. He told me to do this or that." For instance, someone once told me, "Oh, Garab Dorje gave me a very interesting mantra." When I asked, "What is this mantra like? Show me this mantra," the few words didn't mean anything. I was also once asked, "Garab Dorje told me I should do this practice. Should I try to do this practice, or what?" I replied, "It seems to me that it is difficult for you to have contact with Garab Dorje. Your knowledge of Garab Dorje comes from me. I introduced Garab Dorje to you. I introduced you to that teaching. It is better that you do the practice I gave you." Some people say,


"I had a dream in which you said I should do this practice, in this way," and then they give a strange-sounding description. Then, they ask, "Should I do it like this, or not?" In which case I tell them, "I am still alive. I told you how to do the is better that you do what I taught you. It is not necessary to consider my manifestation in a dream as more important. If Garab Dorje, or I myself, manifest in your dream, there is no guarantee. It maybe a Rudra manifesting, with the intention of disturbing your practice and your progress." These are examples to show you what secret Rudra means. In general, a secret Rudra will manifest in some way as very similar to your teacher, precisely because you have confidence in your teacher. You would not trust a Rudra, so if the Rudra appeared as a Rudra, you would not accept anything from it. But, if the Rudra manifests as your teacher, you will be happy. Then, the Rudra can condition you totally. This is just one exam­ ple. There are many ways of considering Rudra.

Tulshug sa11g sum chope elrod

(brtul zhugs gsang gsum spyod pas gcod) What do we do when we encounter such problems? We can overcome them through our attitude and the capacity of our knowl­ edge, by being in the state of the Three Vajras

(sang sum) of

body, speech and mind, rather than in the condition of Rudra. If you are in the state ofVajra, in your real nature, nobody can dis­ turb you. Generally, when you are in doubt, you are weak and vulnerable, and it is easy to condition you. If your body is in the state of the Vajra of the body, your speech is in the state of the Vajra of the voice, and your mind is in the state of theVajra of the mind, who or what can disturb you?

Ngodrub 11yila wallg gyurwa

(dngos grub gnyis Ia dbang bsgyur ba) We can obtain two kinds of siddhis

(ngodrub), ordinary and

supreme. The supreme siddhi is total realization and that is what 78

we chiefly need. On the relative level, we also need the ordinary siddhis. Ordinary siddhis are related to the different actions as they are presented in a mandala. The Vajra, Ratna, Padma and Karma families are related to different actions - peaceful actions, increasing actions, actions of power, actions for eliminating nega­ tivities, etc. These are the main siddhis. Then, there are infinite other siddhis, which are related to the main siddhis. These depend on our circumstances. When we do a Tantric style practice, such as the Heruka or Dakini practice, with visualization, mantras, and so on, we can obtain this kind of siddhis. Equally, even if we do not recite a single mantra, nor do any kind of visualization, etc., if we are in the state of knowledge and in our real condition, we can still obtain all the siddhis. I'll give you an example from Tibet. In East Tibet, there is a Kagyiidpa monastery where all monks mainly practise ChOd. They have to do a kind ofChOd retreat for some years. When they have the capacity to practise Chod in a state beyond fear, then they go to a cemetery and train in the practice there for a long time. Fi­ nally, they are awarded the title of chodpa, which means that they are qualified Chod practitioners. These chodpas travel the country practising Chod, helping people who are in need and, in particular, giving assistance when there are terrible illnesses, such as cholera. With this kind of plague, people die and nobody can touch the ill and the dead. This is a problem for everybody. That is the moment when the chodpas can be of service. They go every­ where, practising Chod. They help out by cleaning and taking the corpses to the cemetery, etc. No one besides a chodpa can touch the dead. The chodpas never receive any negativity and never have any problems. They also practise the Chod to stop the spread of the plague, instead of distributing medicines. They practise a particular empowem1ent through fire. They empower a certain variety of grain through the Chod practice and make a fire into which they throw the grain. When the flames are burning high, the people walk through this fire. People who walk through this fire don't experience any more problems from the illness. The power of the chodpas does not arise from the recitation and power of


mantras, but from doing the practice ofChod. The basic principle of the practice ofChod is the recognition of our real ego. The ego is the number one Rudra. Cutting through the ego, is the practice ofChod and, through training continuously in this practice, chad­

pas can attain realization. This is an example to show that it is not necessary to recite mantras for the obtainment of siddhis. All siddhis will be present when you have attained realization by re­ maining in your real nature.

Drolwa chigpu emaho

(grol ba gcig pu e ma ho) We do not only obtain these two siddhis, but we also attain total liberation in that unique state. Emaho means 'marvellous', be­ cause it is not necessary to receive our realization from someone else, or to construct our realization. We find our realization within ourselves and it manifests.

Rigdzin khandroi gongpe chii

(rig 'dzin mkha' 'gro 'i dgongs pa 'i bcud) Nyengyiid dorjei tsig ka11g di

(snyan rgyud rdo rje'i tshig rkang 'di) This is the essence of the knowledge of all Dakinis and Rigdzins, the realized beings. This is how the vajra verses are related to the oral teaching.

Khye Ia damso 11ying Ia chong

(khyed Ia gdams so snying Ia chongs) I am giving you this. Keep this in your mind.


Kalden nam Ia 'ang legpar no

(skal /dan rnams Ia'ang legs par nos) Not only should you keep this in your mind, but you can also teach this to people who have the appropriate preparation and who are really interested.

Chodag dorje chen chigma

(chos bdag rdo rje spyan gcig ma) Barwa chenpo khor dang che

('bar ba chen po 'khor dang bcas) The guardians of this teaching are Dorje Chen Chigma, or Ekajati, and Barwa Chenpo, another name for the guardian Rahula. Further, still addressing the guardians, it says:

Kadi sung/a tenpa kymrg

(bka' 'di zungs Ia bstan pa skyongs) Gyiidzin hula gowar dzo

(brgyud 'dzin bu Ia 'go par mdzod) Keep and protect this teaching and transmission. Also, protect the students, the people who are following this teaching.

This is the main teaching ofThangtong Gyalpo. Later, when I compared this text from my dream with the text from the Than­

gya/ Nyengyiid, they were, as far as I can remember, very simi­ lar. Maybe in some verses, there were slight differences. In any case, I received the transmission of the Thangyal Nyengyiid from my uncle. I think this transmission fromThangtong Gyalpo is genu­ ine and not by a Rudra. I have given you this teaching, as I believe it to be significant and interesting. If you learn well, there are many things to understand.



Sunday, 14 June 1998

This morning, first of all I want to give you the lung transmis­ sion for several practices. New people, in particular, need to know that, without transmission for these practices, even if you do the practice, it will not work. I will also give you the transmission for some other practices, which are explained in several booklets. When you receive these transmissions, don't worry and think you have to do all the practices. As I have told you, there are main practices and there are secondary practices. Try to do the main practices in your daily life. That is the most important thing. Re­ garding the secondary practices - if you have received transmis­ sion and you are interested - then you can learn how to do them and then apply them. In general, in our daily life, we encounter many different situations. Sometimes we need to do a practice other than Guruyoga to overcome a problem. At that particular moment, it may not be so easy to receive the transmission for that practice. But if you have received the lung transmission, then you will be able to do that practice. That is the reason why I give you the transmissions now. Most of these practices belong to the system ofTantra. In the tradition of Tantra, when we speak of transmission, this mainly refers to receiving different kinds of initiations. It is possible to receive formal initiations and inforn1al initiations. To perfonn the practices ofTantra it is very good to have received an initiation­ but only if you received the transmission in the correct way. Often people who receive the transmission in public don't understand what is going on. Something is put on their heads, there is some­ thing to eat and drink - and then they think they have received the initiation.That is not a correct initiation. A correct initiation means that you know how to go into the transmission and into the trans-


fom1ation. The teacher is also in a transformation. When you re­ ceive empowerment from the teacher you must understand how to receive it, how the teacher empowered your transfonnation. You must understand everything. If it is not possible for you to receive an initiation, then you at least need the lung transmission. This means the teacher reads aloud, pronouncing the sound of the mantras, while you listen, receiving that sound with your ears because the power of the mantras to produce their function lies in the sound. Now I will give you the transmissions.

SHORT AND MEDIUM THUNS The Medium Thun develops the visualizations a little, combin­ ing some more elements of the Tantra system. In both, the Short Thun and the Medium Thun, there is not a single Tibetan word. All words are mantras, either in Sanskrit or in the language ofOddiyana. Before you pronounce these mantras, you should, of course, learn which kind of visualization to do. There are two mantras for the Guruyoga ofPadmasambhava. The first one is connected with the Long Life Practice: ...A YUSHE ... The second one is the ...GURUPADMA THO D­ TRENGTSAL... mantra. You probably know the main mantra of Padmasambhava - OM AH HUM V AJRAGURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM. What is the difference between these mantras? The Guru Padma Thad Treng Tsal mantra is used not only to invoke GuruPadmasambhava, it is also used for Guruyoga. Gu­ ruyoga means communicating with GuruPadmasambhava in or­ der to receive empowerments. Padma Thad Treng Tsal is Guru Padmasambhava's secret name. This mantra is, therefore, more important for the practice of Guruyoga.



The Long Thun includes, near the beginning, an invocation of Guru Padmasambhava. This is a very important invocation: HUM! OGYAN YULGI... The Guruyoga mantras are the same as in the Medium Thun. For the offerings to the guardians, the mantras are the same as in the Medium Thun. There are longer practices of Ekajati and of Dorje Legpa, but everything else is the same as in the Medium Thun.

CHOD This Chod practice is a condensed practice based on a terma teaching of Jigmed Lingpa and the words of Guruyoga from the ChOd of Machig Labdron. If you practise Chod, these words are sufficient. It is possible to do a shorter version. But it is better not to make the practice longer. People always have the idea of length­ ening practices. In general, I think quality is better than quantity. When doing a practice, check to see that you know how to do the practice well, that you know all the meanings, that all the words are precise. Often this is not the case. If you want to lengthen a practice, you should check carefully that you know it really well. Before doing the Guruyoga, there is an invocation, the visuali­ zation of the Refuge Field, Refuge and Bodhichitta, and finally the Offering of the Mandala. These are the preliminary practices of ChOd. After the Mandala Offering, the main practice of Chod begins. So, if you want to do a short version, you can start from here. When you do Guruyoga, and you visualize and invoke Machig Labdron, you are already doing Refuge and Bodhichitta. The next words explain the main visualization. You visualize that you are transferring your consciousness and your conscious­ ness is manifesting as Dakini Simhamukha. Simhamukha holds a kind of knife called a trigug, in her right hand and a kapala, or skull-cup, in her left hand. When we transfer our consciousness,


our body is no longer alive - it is a corpse. After we have trans­ formed into the Dakini Simhamukha we cut off the top of our skull. Into this kapa/a, we put our physical body, which we offer to all the guests. This practice is called Liijin that means the 'of­ fering of the physical body'. Why are we offering our physical body? Because our attachment - all of our attachment - is related to our physical body. In this instance, 'offering' doesn't mean we are throwing our body in front of some wild animals. We are training with our mind, with our ideas. Attachment is an idea. We have strong ideas. At­ tachment is not a physical thing. When we train in offering in this way, we accumulate merits and overcome attachment. Some peo­ ple say, "I feel afraid. Ifl transfer, I might die." If you really did die doingChad, that would be fantastic because you are becoming Simhamukha! That is much better than being in samsara. But that is just an idea. It couldn't be real. When we have finished offering our physical body to all the guests and we have finished theChad, we are still here. There are many kinds ofChads- many longChads- for exam­ ple: white offering, or kargyed, red offering, or margyed, black offering, or naggyed, colourful offering, and so on. All these prac­ tices are added on after OM AH HUM . You don't need many words, but you must do the visualization. If you like, you can do the visualization for hours. In general, when we make offerings - not only for Chad, but any kind of offerings - there are four kinds of guests. First, we invite enlightened beings like Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, etc. Second, we invite guests like Mahakala and the other guardians, as well as the Eight Classes, all powerful beings who have the samaya to protect the teaching. Then we invite the guests of lenchag, the guests of karmic debts. Towards these beings we have accumu­ lated infinite debts over infinite lifetimes. So, we are repaying them. Last, we invite the guests of compassion, the beings of the Six Lokas. They are suffering endlessly in samsara. We manifest our physical body as nectar so that, when they receive it, we make a good cause for them to attain realization.


When you are using the syllables OM AH HUM, you already know the essence of all mantras. When you make offerings to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas you need to purify them with this man­ tra. Because our physical body is made of flesh and blood and bones, which are not pleasant offerings for Buddhas, Dharmapa­ las and Bodhisattvas, we transform it instantly into pleasant things and empower them with this mantra. The EightClasses and many kinds of spirits very much like blood and meat, which we offer them directly. If we feel there are too many guests and the offer­ ings are not sufficient, we can also multiply them with OM AH HUM. With this mantra we can purify, multiply, etc. In particular, when we are offering to the guests of karmic debts, we don't know which kind of debt we have. Some guests might arrive and say, "I don't want your body and your flesh and bones. I'll have your payment in dollars." Then you transfom1 the offering into dollars, countless dollars. This is an example. You must work with circumstances. That is also called working with experience. If you do the practice ofChod frequently you can get a certain kind of sensation and gain understanding when different kinds of visions appear. Working with your vibrations and your feelings is characteristic ofChod. That is also why good practitioners often perform the practice in a cemetery at midnight. Not a Western cemetery, but somewhere in India and Tibet, where cemeteries are deserted places. No one goes to such places at night, so you can feel the vibrations easily there. When you have finished, you dedicate with these words: PHAT! YAR QODYUL... QENBOR MAJOS A This means that you

are integrating in a state of contemplation and, also, that you are empowering your practice with contemplation. You can also add this offering of the teaching: A! QOSNAM ... XESBAR GYIS! These are the words of Buddha Shakyamuni. They, therefore, have great power. This is where you finish, if you are doing the shortChod. If you are doing the longer practice, there is a longer invoca­ tion. We generally do theChod practice in the evening. During the day, we do many kinds of other practices. For that reason, we do


a longer invocation in the evening in order to dedicate all the mer­ its and good efforts we have accumulated in our practices during the day: A! GE DANG ..




THE VAJRAPANI PRACTICE This particular practice of Vajrapani could be very important for someone with certain problems, such as paralysis. All these transfonnations lead to the most important siddhi of total realiza­ tion tlrrough the experience of clarity. They also lead to other more specific siddhis, as a secondary function.

THE GARUDA PRACTICE This practice belongs to the Anuyoga system. That means that you transform instantly and then chant the main mantra. When you are chanting the main mantra you can do trondu. At the cen­ tre of your manifestation you visualize the red letter KHROM (spoken TROM), from which lights are spreading. With these lights you are communicating with all enlightened beings. At the same time you receive their empowerments and wisdoms, which dis­ solve as lights into your manifestation. With this presence you chant the mantra.

SANGCHOD - THE SANG OFFERING Sang has two main functions. The first is for purifying our­ selves, our dimension. The second function, besides the purifica­ tion, is the offering of food and other offerings to the local guard­ ians or Lokapalas, and to all the other guardians, or Dharmapalas. This is useful if we have provoked the local guardians, as well as purifying negative provocations or negative energy in our circum­ stances.


We do this practice like we do the rites of the guardians. When we do the rites of the guardians, we do not think, "Oh, there is a guardian. The guardian is important. I'm here. I'm an ordinary, weak person. Therefore, I am making an offering. I am asking the guardian to help me." If we make an offering to the guardians this way, it doesn't work. We wouldn't have much benefit. Before we address the guardians we must transform ourselves into Vajra­ pani, or Guru Tragphur, or Simhamukha. We send lights from the heart syllable of the deity to invite the guardians and ask them to remember their samaya, their commitments. And then we offer. If we know how to work with samaya commitments, there is a function. For the Sang offering, we transform ourselves into A valokite­ shvara. Above Avalokiteshvara, manifests Guru Padmasambhava. Guru Padmasambhava has many samaya contacts with all the local guardians. Then we use the mantras, invite the guests, and make the offerings.


We have mantras for empowering Lungtas. Lungtas are prayer flags of five colours, which also serve to purify our dimension and strengthen our energy. If, for example our life element and the element of the current year are in conflict, we can have some problems. Then it is important we prepare some Lungtas, em­ power them and, then, offer them.


The Namkha is mainly for harmonizing the different elements within ourselves. We have a number of different elements. For example, we have the element of the body, which is related to the moment at which our body started to develop in our mother's womb. We have the element of life, which relates to the moment of con-


ception. We have the element of capacity, which relates to the moment of birth- at that moment, we have contact with the outer elements and the outer dimension. If there are conflicts between these elements, we can have problems during our lifetime. There is the possibility to harmonize these elements by preparing a Nam­ kha and empowering it with this rite and mantra.


Oser Chenma is a manifestation of Tara. This practice is very important for overcoming general obstacles in daily life- particu­ larly, when we are travelling. We do this practice in the morning. Before leaving home or travelling, we remember and recite this mantra. It is very useful.


This is a short puja for Nagas. In general a puja for Nagas is not so easy. Why? First of all, because it is not easy to communi­ cate with a Naga. Second, if you don't do the puja for Nagas correctly, you can create problems instead of gaining benefit. Nagas are very complicated beings. Even when you are showing them kindness, they may not like your kindness. The only way to com­ municate with them is through samaya. If you do the practice of this puja, you must know on which days you can communicate with them. For example, in one month there may only be two, three, or four possible days. We must look up the favourable days in the calendar. To do this practice, you first do the practice of the Medium Thun and then add this practice after the rites of the guardians. You don't offer meat and such things as in an ordinary Ganapuja. You must also be careful with the use of incense, as many types of incense that are used in higher Tantric practice contain animal products.



If you do sufficient practice of Green Tara, you can use the action mantras. In general, I ask people to do a personal retreat of the Green Tara practice for at least one week. This does not mean you can't do the practice of the action mantras now. You can but you will not have the effect. We need the function of the mantra, not just the mantra itself. If we want to have the function of the mantra, we need first to recite the main mantra sufficiently and correctly. If you did the main mantra practice of Green Tara for one year, that would be even better. Then, when you use the action mantras, they will really work. This also applies to the Garuda practice and any kind of practice. The use and function of the action man­ tra very much depends on the practice of the main mantra.

MANDARA VA PRACTICE I will give you the transmission for the longer version of the

practice. In this way, you automatically receive the transmission for the medium and short version. In the Mandarava practice there are two mantras. The first mantra is the main mantra for Mandarava. The second mantra, of course, includes Mandarava, but is mainly the mantra for the five Dakinis. Many people assume the second mantra to be an action mantra, but this is not true.


There are many kinds of Shitro practices. This practice is a terma

teaching of Mingyur Dorje. It is a very condensed and es­

sential form ofShitro.



This invocation of Phowa is a Ierma teaching of Changchub Dorje - the Phowa of the Three Kayas.


This Guruyoga is just the same as the one in the Short Thun, except that, here there is a specific invocation and visualization. Furthemwre we dissolve Garab Dorje also in the forehead. First, we pronounce A and visualize Garab Dmje as the union of all teachers. Then, we take Refuge and generate Bodhichitta. After that, we perform the invocation of Garab Dorje. After the invocation, we sound A and Garab Dorje dissolves into light and unifies in the dimension of the white A in a thigle at our heart, and we remain in the state of unification. Then we continue in the same way as in the Short Thun, with three As. Sounding the first A, we spread lights that communicate with all enlightened beings. Sounding the second A, we receive infinite lights from them that all dissolve in the white A in the thigle, spreading from there throughout our body, so that our karmic body dissolves into light. Sounding the third A, we remain in the state of presence, in a state of integration. Then, we sing the Song of the Vajra. We then sound A and visualize Garab Dmje in front of us again. We repeat the invocation the second time. Then we pronounce A and Garab Dmje dissolves into light, but this time at our forehead. At our forehead, there is a triangle, inside of which is a gakyil. At the centre of this gaf..yil, a small white A manifests, which repre­ sents our state of unification. We remain in this state and observe what kind of experiences we have. This method particularly involves working with clarity. In gen­ eral, when we do a visualization at the centre of our body, the experience is related to the calm state and to emptiness. When we do a visualization at the head chakra, or at the forehead, the experience is more related to clarity. When our senses have con­ tact with an object, we receive the information through our head, as our sense organs are all located in our head. Then, we receive 92

the information in our mind. Many people believe that the mind is in the head. Why do they have this idea? Because it seems as if we receive the infom1ation in our head and assume the head to be the centre of the mind. But the mind is part of our potentiality. So, it must be in the centre of our body, not in our head. You then proceed with the sounding of the three As, first spread­ ing lights, then receiving empowem1ents, and finally integrating in that state when you sing the Song of the Vajra. This Guruyoga is a very important Guruyoga. In particular, if you want to do a dark retreat in the future, before entering the dark you must have done this practice a sufficient number of times. Without cause, there is no effect. If you are not prepared for having visions, particularly visions related with your potentiality, then, when you remain in the dark, the dark stays dark. This practice and the practice of Shitro are two very imp011ant practices for preparing for the dark re­ treat.

LONG LIFE PRACTICE OF GURU AMITAYUS This is another very simple Long Life practice, a terma teach­ ing of Nyagla Pema Dlindul. In this practice, we transform in­ stantly into Guru Amitayus in accordance with the Anuyoga sys­ tem.

THE PURIFICATION OF THE SIX LOKAS There are many ways of doing this practice, but this one is combined with the Guruyoga of the Medium Thun.

GURU TRAGPHUR There are many fom1s of Guru Tragpo. One of the manifesta­ tions of Guru Tragpo is called Tragpo Yeshe Rambar. On many thangka paintings, we see Guru Tragpo, a wrathful manifesta­ tion, red in colour, holding a Vajra and a scorpion- that is Yeshe


Rambar.Then, there is Guru Tragpo combined with Garuda and Hayagriva. Particularly well-known nowadays is a



ing of Jigmed Lingpa calledTragpoTakhyung. We use the mantra OM AH HUM MAHAGURU ARCIK ... in our Medium Thun. We also have GuruTragphur. GuruTragphur is a combination of GuruTragpo, Vajrakilaya, Vajrapani, Yangdag Heruka, Haya­ griva and Garuda. When doing this visualization, you can see how all the forms of the different manifestations are present.The mani­ festation is red in colour, and holds a vajra in the right hand and a scorpion in the left hand - that is Guru Tragpo. On the head, amongst the flaming red hair, is a green horse's head - that is Hayagriva.The manifestation has two wings, representing Yang­ dag Heruka. In the centre of the manifestation, there is either a blue letter HUM, or a manifestation ofVajrapani, both of which representVajrapani. Above the head is a flying Garuda, the mani­ festation of Garuda. This is a very useful practice. If we aim at supreme realization with a transformation, then any of these practices is fine - we can have that realization. But if we are thinking of secondary siddhis, then each of these manifestations is a little different. For example, if you have an illness like paralysis, which is a provocation of the Za class, you should mainly do the practice ofVajrapani - particu­ larly just before sunset. If you have skin diseases, these may be related to provocations of the Nagas.In that case, it is very impor­ tant to do the Garuda practice. If you have some provocation con­ nected to the class ofTsens, also called Rukshis, you can develop an illness like cancer, or a tumour. In this case you should mainly do the practice of Hayagriva and, also, the red Garuda practice, which has the same function. There are many kinds of provocations related to specific ill­ nesses.These kinds of illnesses are illnesses of provocations.These illnesses cannot be overcome without controlling them with prac­ tice and the power of mantras. It is almost impossible to over­ come them through medicines and therapy alone. If you are doing practice, you can control that energy, stop the negative energy. And if you are also in therapy and taking medicines, the practice really has a function. In that case, the medicine becomes a sec94

ondary cause for overcoming the illness. Furthermore, each prac­ tice has a different function related to a specific purpose. If you have a unified practice, you can have all these functions. Other­ wise, you need to do many different practices. Guru Tragphur is particularly appropriate for negative provo­ cations from the beings of the Tsati or Gyalpo class. We have many provocations from the Gyalpo, because, in general, we have a lot of confusions. When we are nervous and confused, we can immediately receive a provocation from the Gyalpo. Thus, it is important to do this practice. In the manifestation of Guru Trag­ phur, the lower part is a kilaya, or phurba. Under this phurba, two beings lie cross-like on top of each other. These two classes of beings in particular control negative energy. One of these two beings is a Tsati or Gyalpo. We can easily recognize the fonn of the Gyalpo. The other being is a Senmo, a class of beings closely connected with the class of the Gyalpos. In general, the manifes­ tation of a Senmo seems to be female, whereas the Gyalpo has a male form. But, in the real sense, they are neither male nor fe­ male, as many of these kinds of beings have no gender. Only their manifestation has the characteristic of being male and female. For example, we consider the Mamos as female. Ekajati, in order to control all classes of the Mamos, manifests as a Mamo and as female. But, in a real sense, a Mamo has no gender, male or fe­ male. That has more to do with our concepts, but as well as 1m­ man beings, animals are also male and female. The Senmo is another very provocative class of beings. There are many books on this topic in Dzogchen, for example one called

Desheg Kagye (The Eight Sadhanas). In the Anuyoga teach­ ings in the Desheg Kagye, there are three series related to more worldly beings and different kinds of classes. By reading these books, we can understand how provocations take place and what their characteristics are. When I was very young, I received these transmissions and teachings, but I was never pat1icularly inter­ ested in reading or studying them. But recently, maybe three or four years ago perhaps, I became very interested in reading these books, because we know we are receiving many negative provo­ cations. There are many books explaining different kinds of nega95

tive provocations and their characteristics. Thus, when we read about the history of the Mamos and other classes, we begin to understand many things. So, I did some research to discover what the characteristics of the provocations from the Senmos are. As we all know, the Senmos are very provocative. Under Guru Trag­ phur, there are a Gyalpo and a Senmo. We know about Gyalpo provocations, but we don't know very much about the character­ istic of the Senmo provocations. I concluded from my research that because of Senmo provocations we nowadays have the ill­ ness of Aids, because the illness provocation by the Senmos does not manifest immediately. The Senmos gradually suck all the en­ ergy and life essence from an individual. This is characteristic of the maturation and manifestation of this illness. Therefore, I think the Guru Tragphur practice could be very useful these days, par­ ticularly for protection from this kind of negativity. Everybody can recognize the provocations of the Gyalpos. When you receive a provocation from the Gyalpos, you more or less go crazy, you are not normal anymore. His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked Tibetans not to do the practice of the Gyalpos, as not only would there be no benefit, but one can also receive many negativities. But a group of people, who are very engaged in doing the Gyalpo practice and have already received a kind of'blessing' under the Gyalpo influence, are going crazy and are against the Dalai Lama. When I first heard of this, that some people were talking badly about and against the Dalai Lama, I couldn't believe it. Because for us, the few remaining Tibetan people who are still alive in India and elsewhere, the Dalai Lama is our only hope. If there is no Dalai Lama, there is nothing. Then, Tibet will be totally finished and the Chineses will be able to govern comfortably. We don't know what is going to happen, but our only hope is the Dalai Lama. That is all we have. Also, the fact that some Tibetan people are able to live in India nowadays and are able to give their chil­ dren an education is all due to the Dalai Lama. How can someone who criticizes the Dalai Lama and is publicly against him not be crazy? I have heard that when the Dalai Lama was recently in America, a group of people- Tibetans and Westerners- followed 96

His Holiness wherever he went, demanding, "Free Buddhism!" But the Dalai Lama never said, "I forbid you to do this practice." The Dalai Lama couldn't say that. The Dalai Lama is not the king of the universe. He is only stating his opinion, as he, too, is a hu­ man being. He also has the right to speak out. These people are distorting the Dalai Lama's statements when they say, "Oh, the Dalai Lama is not giving us the right to do our great Gyalpo prac­ tice." The Dalai Lama says, "If we need guardians, there are many enlightened wisdom-beings who have manifested as guard­ ians, like Mahakala and Ekajati, and also other important guard­ ians who have a commitment to Guru Padmasambhava." There are infinite guardians. Why, then, do we want to do the practice of a bad spirit, knowing that we can receive problems? One can recognize the Gyalpo influence: people gradually go insane. In this case, it is very important to do the practice of Guru Tragphur. If you do the Guru Tragphur practice daily and at least recite his mantra, you cannot receive this kind of provocation or negativ­ ity. This main mantra of Guru Tragphur comes from a


Mingyur Dorje. The other mantra comes from a




of my uncle Heka Lingpa. I think this is very important. When I received this transmission, a remarkable sign appeared. There is a long and a short mantra. In general, it is enough to do the practice with the short mantra. All these practices belong to the system of Anuyoga. You don't need to read many words and you don't need to do much. The main point is to transfonn yourself instantly with the seed syllable. As in the Short Thun, we transfonn with three HUMs or, as in the Medium Thun, we transfonn with only one HUM. In any case, when we are sounding HUM, we transfom1 instantly and manifest as Guru Tragphur. If you don't know what Guru Tragphur looks like, try to get hold of a painting or a picture of Guru Tragphur. You should feel yourself in a pure dimension of flames. At the centre of your manifestation there is a blue HUM, which represents the state of Vajrapani. When you recite the mantra, the mantra turns clockwise around the seed syllable. This is very short and very simple. You can also do this within a Short Thun.



Bepai Gumchung (sEas pa 'i rGum chung), The Small Collection Qf Hidden Precepts. This is a There is a book called

text found amongst the Tun Huang manuscripts, which contains an interesting explanation of the Dzogchen principles. I have writ­ ten and published a commentary in Tibetan on this text.8

THE CYCLE OF DAY AND NIGHT This book has been translated from Tibetan, so everybody can read it. I will give you the

lung of the text. Maybe it is useful,

because now that you have this book, you can read, study, and apply the text. I wrote this book many years ago, when I went to Conway, Massachusetts, in America. We did a retreat. Our Dzogchen community in America consisted originally of a group ofGurdjieff students, led by Mr. Anderson, who is now dead. He had attended two retreats and was a Dzogchen practitioner. At the time I went to this retreat, he had just died. I said, "We shall dedicate this retreat to Mr. Anderson." The morning before we started the retreat, I had an idea at breakfast. I thought that maybe it was better not merely to dedicate the retreat, but actually to write something about the meaning of Dzogchen, which I could then teach during the retreat and dedicate in this way. Immedi­ ately, I asked for a small piece of paper and a pen, and started to write. I had written everything down before the start of the re­ treat in the afternoon. We did the retreat based on this text. So, this is the story of this book. The book explains the Dzogchen principles more in the Longde style. It does not really explain the Longde practice itself, but, rather, the essence of the Dzogchen teaching. Its way of explain­ ing this is connected to the Longde principles, as before I went to

Chi1gyal Namkhai Norbu, sBas pa "i rGum cl111ng- The Small Collection of Hidden Precepts. A Study of an Ancient Manuscript on Dzogchen.from Tun­ Huang. Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 1984.


this retreat we had just done some Longde practice. Perhaps this experience was still fresh in my mind. In any case, I wrote spon­ taneously and not in a very intellectual way. The ninth verse is very interesting and very concrete. The twelfth verse is also very important. I already told you yesterday that, in Dzogchen Semde and Longde, we don't use chogzhag, we use /hugpa. Here /hugpa is mentioned repeatedly. You can learn from this book, in the sense that it is not like an ordinary commentary. This is about how we can really get into an experience of the knowledge of Dzogchen and how we can integrate it.


In general, we have two words, Ganapuja and Ganachakra. When we are using mantras in the Ganapuja we always say Ga­ nachakra. But when we are actually doing it, we do a Ganapuja. Puja means offering. We prepare something, then we imagine Gurus, Devas and Dakinis, and then we make offerings. Gana­ chakra does not refer only to outer offerings. Even when we are offering externally, we are always beyond limitations. So, you can understand a little about how we prepare offerings, and about how we make offerings in Anuttara Tantra, Higher Tantra. If you do a practice, for example, of Tara or Avalokiteshvara, which are linked with Lower Tantras like Yoga Tantra or Kriya Tantra, you must not drink alcohol and you must not eat meat. This is related to an attitude that corresponds to the Sutra level. But if you are doing the practice of Avalokiteshvara that is called Gyalwa Gyatso, which belongs to Higher Tantra, or the Green Tara practice belonging to the Higher Tantra, Anuttara Tantra or Anuyoga system, we can offer meat and alcohol. There is a difference. Why? Because when we are doing an Anuttara Tantra practice, the first, most important thing is that we train in transforming everything impure into pure vision. If we have the idea, "Oh, this is not a pure thing, we couldn't offer it," we break this concept. In Anuttara Tantra, we speak of the object of samaya of the practice. There are five meats and five nectars. That means we eat, drink and use those 99

things. That means we are going beyond limitation. Even if you explain what the five nectars and the five meats are, people who are conditioned by Sutra or Lower Tantra, get really upset. So you can also understand how the Mahasiddhas manifested. First they were panditas, very good monks and famous teachers. Later, when they manifested as Mahasiddhas, they broke all limitations. So that is the principle of Anuttara Tantra, Higher Tantra. For that reason, when we are making an offering in the Anut­ tara Tantra style, it is not an ordinary offering of Lower Tantra. Ganachakra means going beyond limitation, there is no distinction between good and bad, everything is fine. When the practitioner is totally immersed in pure vision, the practitioner is in a Ganacha­ kra. Particularly for practitioners ofDzogchen, this entails the prac­ titioner having different kinds of experiences. Even if there is a consideration of pure and impure, everything is related to experi­ ence. Experience is the basis of the path. This is the meaning of Ganachakra. But, in general we call it Ganapuja and we do a Ganapuja, because we cannot go beyond certain limitations. If we do strange things, we end up in jail. That is the condition of our society. Practitioners must be aware of this, know how the situa­ tion is, and know how to deal with it. When we do a Ganapuja, we start off in the same fashion as in the Medium Thun. We recite the same invocation of Guru Pad­ masambhava as in the Long Thun. Then, after reciting the mantras, we immediately do the Ganapuja. There are three Ganapuja of­ ferings. FIRST GANAPUJA

The first Ganapuja refers to the outer offering: we imagine the presence of Gurus, Devas, Dakinis and make offerings to them. If we have prepared something to offer, that is fine, but primarily we visualize infinite offerings. We empower them with the mantra RAM YAM KHAM ... HRI. Then we invite the guests with the

mantra OM AH HUM VAJRAGURU DEVA ... KHAM. We should always use the mudra of samaya to communicate. These three, mudra, mantra and visualization, are related to our body,


speech and mind. By combining them, we produce their function. With the mantra VAJRA SPHARANA KHAM, we manifest infi­ nite offerings and empower them with mudra, mantra and visuali­ zation. Then we make offerings to Gurus, Devas and Dakinis, and to all enlightened beings: OM AH HUM ... Offerings are always related to the enjoyment of the senses. With our eyes we see beautiful things, with our ears we hear nice music, etc. And we also make the corresponding mudras: RUPA, SHAPTA, GHANDE... PUJA HO. We proceed one by one. Af­ ter this, whilst manifesting, for instance, as Guru Tragphur, we visualize Ekajati in front of ourselves. We then communicate with and make offerings to Ekajati. In the practice book, you will find the five syllables of the main guardians. In the centre, there is BHYO, which is the heart syllable of Ekajati. When you visualize Ekajati, you are sending light from your heart syllable [HUM] to Ekajati's heart syllable, thereby putting her into action. In general, you visualize Ekajati surrounded by all these manifestations. With regard to specific guardians, for Mahakala you visualize a blue HUM at the centre of the manifestation; for Rahula there is a red letter HRI; for Dorje Legpa the letter is a red TRI and for Tse­ ringma a white letter BAM. This is how you visualize the guard­ ians and communicate with them, using their specific seed sylla­ bles. If you like, you can do the longer practice of Ekajati and of Dorje Legpa. But in general, it is better if you don't do the longer versions, because many people don't know how to read and to pronounce the Tibetan words. It is better to do a larger quantity of Naggon. The Naggon consists only of mantras you can easily pro­ nounce. They are the heart mantras of the guardians, whereby you can communicate. After that, you recite the one-hundred-syllable mantra and you imagine the presence of all the Tathagatas. In the presence of all the Tathagatas, you purify all your wrong doings with regard to the transmission, the samaya, etc. It is very important that you do this purification frequently. At the end, you pronounce SAMAYA SHUDDHE A Then, everything dissolves and you integrate in a state of contemplation. So this is the first Ganapuja. 101


In the second Ganapuja, according to the Tantric style, we make offerings inwardly. In the Tantric teaching, we speak of our Vajra body. This means it has chakras, mandalas, manifestations of the five Dhyani Buddhas, Shitro deities, etc. With this presence, eve­ rything we eat and drink becomes an offering. We eat and drink every day, but in this instance the food becomes an offering. The Ganapuja is a symbol for discovering how we generally consume food and drink. When we perfom1 a Ganapuja, there are many words, many visualizations, etc. In daily life, we don't need these, but we nonetheless remain aware of and enjoy what we are do­ ing. When we eat and, particularly, when we drink, we remain aware that we eat and drink to sustain our physical body, not sim­ ply for pleasure or to get drunk. In this instance, we can eat and drink evetything in the nom1al way and integrate. In accordance with the Sutra teaching, for example, we try to be vegetarians. We don't eat meat, because we do not want to create problems for other beings. That is the principle of the Sutra teaching. But in the Mahayana teaching, the principle is not simply about not cre­ ating problems for other beings. If there can be a benefit, why not create a problem? You must weigh up which is more important. If we eat meat, then obviously someone is killing animals and will perhaps kill more because we buy meat. An animal is suffering because it has been killed. This means we have indirectly caused a heavy disturbance for that being. But for a cow or an ordinary animal, this kind of experience repeats itself infinitely. A cow is not simply killed once. We kill cows every day. That cow is in samsara and can become a cow again and again. The suffering has no end. This is the real condition.Ifwe don't eat meat, maybe this helps not to create a problem at this particular moment. But if we think it through, this is not big compassion. Big compassion refers to what is said in the Tantric teaching, "Meat is eaten by those who have compassion. Alcohol is used by those who maintain samaya." This is from the Hevajra Tantra. What does this mean? When we eat


small piece of meat, we

know very well that the meat comes from an animal. The animal


is killed and then we have that meat. When it is killed, the animal suffers. We know that, we know the situation. But we also know that this kind of suffering is infinite for animals. We know we are practitioners and we are on the path. That means that one day we can have total realization. That is somehow guaranteed because we are on the path. Maybe someone will attain realization quicker than another one. It doesn't matter. One day, we will attain reali­ zation. In particular, when many practitioners are doing a Ganapuja and there are small pieces of cow's meat, everybody eats a piece. Eating this piece of meat means that everybody is concretely inte­ grating the meat of that being into their existence. Also, we are not eating in an ordinary way with distraction, or simply to enjoy ourselves. We are doing a Ganapuja. First, we are offering to Gurus, Devas and Dakinis. Second, after empowering these of­ ferings with the power of the state of contemplation, we are inte­ grating them in our existence. So, that means we have created a very precise connection between ourselves and that cow. When we are in the state of total illumination, we can have infinite quali­ ties and quantities of wisdom. Who can receive this wisdom? Only beings who have had good - or even bad - connections with us. Even if we have infinite compassion for all sentient beings, it is very difficult for all sentient beings to receive our wisdom if there is no concrete relationship. By receiving wisdom, that cow then has the possibility to join the path. It doesn't mean the cow will immediately attain illumination. But now, that cow is guaranteed an end to its suffering, an ending of samsara. By eating the meat, you cause the ending of samsara. If out of your small compassion you reject eating meat, you are denying the animal this possibility. Now you can weigh up what is more important. Although both attitudes are based on compassion, they are different. This applies not only to meat, but also to the consumption of bread and other food. All we produce involves the killing of many animals. The production of rice kills millions and millions of beings. The same is true of grain. Bread is not meat, but there is not much difference in the real sense [with regard to the killing of animals]. 103

Therefore it is important that we are aware, that we know what the situation is, and that we don't eat with indifference, but with constant awareness. If you have the capacity, you can cre­ ate a relationship by just being in instant presence. If you don't feel you have that capacity, you can at least mentally pronounce OM AH HUM and empower the food in that way. It is not neces­ sary to do a kind of puja. When we are eating in a restaurant where there are many people, it is not appropriate to say, "Oh, I am a Buddhist," then say "Blah blah blah ..." That would be odd and would disturb the other people. That is fanaticism. It is a very bad thing if a practitioner becomes a fanatic. So, we remain aware, and we eat meat and other food as I have explained. At the same time, we are also purifying our samaya. "Alcohol is used by those who maintain samaya," means that we know our capacity. We proceed according to our capacity and we are able to control ourselves. Someone might say, "Oh I am a practitioner. I can drink a lot of wine and I am never drunk," and then say, "Even if my body is drunk, my mind is very clear." But if we don't have a body, it is impossible to drink alcohol. If our body is drunk, we are already drunk. There is no need for philosophy. There is a teaching which says, ngagpa chang gi nyo na ni, ngu bod ne su tsedpar ched, "if a Tantric practitioner is drunk, then he has no option but to go to hell." This doesn't mean you should not drink at all. We can drink, but we must have the capac­ ity to maintain control. Sometimes, you can drink a glass or two of wine, which can help you to make progress in your practice. For example, if you are sitting quietly and you have nothing to do, you can drink a glass of wine and observe yourself, noticing how you feel and that you feel better than before. Then, when you are practising, you can get into the state of clarity or the state of calm more easily, depending on what is needed. But if you are drinking continually - three glasses, four glasses, five glasses - then your clarity disappears! So, these are the reasons why you use alcohol and meat in the Ganapuja. We start with OM AH HUM and then we say A LA LA HO, meaning "Marvellous!" Why? Because it is not necessary to


change anything, to abandon anything, nor to accept anything. Everything is fine. In that state, we sing the Song of the Vajra. At the end, we say AHO MAHASUKHA HO. AHO again means, "Marvellous!" MAHASUKHA means everything is bliss. There is nothing within our consideration that has no value, that we need to reject, or that needs to be changed. Just being in this state, just enjoying this state, is sufficient. At this moment in the Ganapuja, we distribute and receive small pieces of food and drink. When the distribution is finished, we again pronounce AHO MAHASU­ KHA HO and A LA LA HO, and then we enjoy ourselves and make the inner offering. Remaining aware, we then eat and drink as inner offering, enjoying the experience. TIIIRD GANAPUJA

The third Ganapuja is an offering to the local guardians, lower spirits and weak spirits. These are beings who notice we are do­ ing a Ganapuja offering, but who can't be present along with the first guests, Gurus, Devas and Dakinis. They wait somewhere for a little piece of the Ganapuja. So, we collect small pieces of food, the leftovers [but not waste matter, e.g. bones or stones]. And only food, not drink. Many people like to add wine to the leftovers, but we don't need wine. These kinds of spirits never drink! We empower these leftovers with the mantra RAM YAM KHAM OM AH HUM and we offer them with the mantra UCCISHT A BHALIMTA KHAHI. After this last offering, we do the invocation: GEVA DIYIS... This means that we are asking that our practice may benefit and bring merit to all sentient beings. We use another invocation to ask for the long life of all our teachers and for all sentient beings to have happiness, etc.: PALDEN LAMAI ... In the third verse, we ask that the teaching, particularly the essential teaching of Dzogchen, be spread in all the universes, in all the different di­ mensions of beings: GYALVA GUNGI... Then we dedicate: OM OHARE . . . We also usually include a short Ganapuja of Jigmed

Lingpa: RAM YAM KHAM... This is the Ganapuja practice.



We have come to the end of our short retreat. I hope very much that you have understood something and that it has been useful to you. We can go on retreat many times, but the real pur­ pose of a retreat is to understand something, in particular to un­ derstand how to deal with your existence in daily life. I am not very concerned that you learn a technique for doing a practice or not. But if you have understood the real sense of the teaching and how to deal with yourself, that is really very useful. Our life takes place in time and time passes very quickly. Though we can all have very nice ideas, sometimes ideas only develop into a kind of fantasy. It is very important to do the Guruyoga with the white A, relaxing in that state and trying to understand or discover what it means to be in instant presence. You can start in the early morning and continue until the evening, when you go to bed. When you are going to sleep, you can also do Guruyoga. Remaining in that pres­ ence, relax and go to sleep. That is the essence of the Practice of the Night. You should not concentrate too much on the forn1 or the name of the practice. In particular, do not concentrate too much on complicated things. Some people love it when something is complicated. Then, they say, "Very interesting!" Why? Because they don't understand! It is better to learn one thing well and to be grounded in that knowledge. There are practices for the day and practices for the night, which are important for our lives. If you start with Guru yoga and continue in that state, you can always be in that presence. This is the main is much more important that you remain aware than it is to recite mantras and do complicated things. We can have total realization only by being in our real nature. We can get into our real nature if we are aware and if we really relax in that state. You cannot say, "Oh, I couldn't do this practice, because I have no time." You always have time to think. Instead of always being distracted, try to be aware. That is all.


You can also do the practice of the Vajra Recitation, OM AH HUM, which you integrate with your breathing. This is very im­ portant for maintaining awareness and, also, for purification. You can learn and apply all secondary practices when you have time. It is also very important to try to have contact with other practi­ tioners and, sometimes, to do practice together. If you don't do this, you will slowly loose your spiritual feelings. Our modem soci­ ety is permeated with all kinds of distractions. If you notice this at the last moment, then it will be too late. That is no good. It is very important to be aware of the circumstances in daily life. It is also very important that you understand the real meaning of the teaching and don't make the mistake of combining this with ordinary concepts. This is one of the main problems, which people often don't notice. For this reason, in the teaching, there are tawa, gompa and chodpa. Tawa means point of view: first of all, we

need a correct point of view. A correct point of view doesn't mean we know why and because. We have been developing this kind of judgement for many lives. A correct point of view means we ob­ serve ourselves, understand our existence and how it corresponds to the teaching, and remain in that knowledge. I can give you a very clear example of how people have misunderstood this and have failed to reach the real sense of the teaching. When I was in Australia, I had a lot of problems with one or two people. They had very strong feminist ideas. I believe that feminism is a political idea. I do not say that you shouldn't have this idea. It can sometimes be very useful for a society - not just the idea of feminism, but also the idea of democracy, for example. There are many such ideas, which are indispensable to the progress of society. But the idea is a political idea. If you want to engage in politics within your society, you can do that. I never said this was no good. But if these ideas are brought into the teaching, they do not correspond to the teaching. I taught in Melbourne for three days. I explained everything very precisely, the knowledge ofDzogchen, how to receive it, and how to integrate it. When the teaching was over, many people came to say good-bye and to thank me. At that time, a woman


came up to me and said she wanted to ask me something. I said, "Please, I am listening." She asked whether it was possible to do Guruyoga with a female teacher, because as a woman this was important to her. I replied, "Of course, you can do Guruyoga with Tara, with Yeshe Tsogyal, with Dakini Mandarava. There are many female forms." She said, "But in general, you are always teaching Guruyoga with Padmasambhava and Garab Dorje, which are male forms." I said, "I am sorry. I am a male, too, and I am giving teachings. What can I do, I am male by birth." I added, "You can do the practice with female forms. There are many possibilities for doing so." Yet, during the teaching I had already explained this -not in such a specific way, but more generally. Often, people say, "I am female, I like to do the practice with female forms, e.g. Tara orSimhamukha." In the real sense, in the Sambhogakaya, there is no gender.Sambhogakaya is beyond gen­ der. We must also understand this point with regard to the mani­ festation ofSamantabhadra andSamantabhadri as ya b y wn. There -

is a reason for this; we have visions and experience their energy, or clarity and emptiness, etc. But we must not fixate on the idea of male and female with regard to the principles of the teaching. In a transformation, for example, even ifl am male, ifl transfonn into Vajrayogini, I am transformed into a female fonn. If you are trans­ forming, for example, into Vajrapani, you are transformed in a male form. At that moment, you must be like the manifestation, a male form. Some people ask, "If I am a female and transfonn into yab­

yum, male and female, should I feel male or female?" This means they are still holding onto the idea of gender at the level of the Sambhogakaya. Obviously, you feel both male and female, both are your manifestation. It is not as if you are manifesting as a male and you are taking a female from outside. I tell people not to bring such ideas to the teaching, or to mix them with the teaching. Otherwise the teaching will not stay pure. Some people misunderstand this and say, "Oh, Namkhai Norbu is against women." When Namkhai Norbu is in a state of contem­ plation, there is neither male nor female. I know how to be in a


state of contemplation. I am trying to communicate and make you understand this. There are many such kinds of misunderstandings we produce with our concepts. Even if we try to be in a state of contemplation, in instant presence, with another part of ourselves we are trying to maintain our dualistic vision. We must not do this. We must free ourselves from these kinds of ideas. This is why the teacher says, in the Dzogchen teaching, "Whatever you do, don't accept or reject anything, but feel free," which means being free from all our complicated, dualistic, mental concepts. If you try to proceed in this way, integrating your existence in the practice as much as possible in your daily life, and if you relax in that state, you will have no problems and you will make progress. I hope very much that we will meet again. But, we don't know

this for sure. We are all living in time. There is no guarantee. But, we have this hope. So, do your best doing your practice and, if we meet again, maybe you will have advanced in your practice. Maybe, you will be able to say, "Oh, now I have no problems." Then I will think, "Oh, what progress!"




Guru Samantabhadra Infinite Light, Yidam Padma Heruka, Dakini Guhyajiiana, bestow the great blessing on your fortunate son!

By properly receiving from the three masters and 1-dth the five perfect conditions the Dharma possessing four qualifi­ cations and transcending outer, median and inner hopes and fears, one must recognize the non-dual wisdom.

By properly mantaining with the three main points the condition of inseparability of the Four Das, one discovers the unique all-penetrating state transcending all attachments related to the two obstacles.

Through the Four Chogzhags one gazes openly (into space); through the Three Vajras, one unifies the Ying and the Rigpa. All phenomena related to the dualistic concept of samsara and nirvana are one in the unique dimension of one's Rigpa: A. 113

Through the resolute behavior of the Three Secrets, the external, internal and secret Four Demons are cut off. Hav­ ing mastery over the two siddhis, the unique liberation is marvelous!


have transmitted to you these Vajra verses of the oral

transmission that are the essence of the state of realization of Vidyadharas and Dakinis: keep them in your heart and also teach them properly to suitable ones!

Dharma-owner Vajra One-Eyed (Ekajati) and you Great Flaming One (Rahula), take hold ofthis instruction and pro­ tect the Teaching! Exert your guarding influence on thefol­ lowers ofthe lineage! SAMAYA GYA GYA GYA








a ce lha mo

A Tibetan opera, 40

Anye Machen

a myes rma chen

A mountain range in Amdo, 42


ar gtad

Staying in instant presence, free of concepts, 74

Barwa Chenpo

'bar ba chen po

Bepai Gumchung

sbas pa'i rgum

The Small Hidden Collection, an


ancient Dzogchen text from the

Great Flaming One, Skt. Rahula; guardian, 81

Tun Huang library, 98 Chagsampa

Iron Bridge Builder, one of the

lcags zam pa

pseudonyms of Thangtong Gyalpo, 40 Chalwa

All-pervading (the sewnd of the

'phyal ba

four Dzogchen samayas), 48 Changchub Dorje

byang chub rdo rje

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's root teacher (1826-1961 ),22,92

Chig she kun drol

gcig shes kun grot



Discover one, liberate all, I 0,67 Unique, singular, one, single (the fourth of the four Dzogchen samayas), 49



Practice of 'cutting through', 37,

51, 77, 79,80,85,86,87 Practitioner of Chod, 79


gcod pa


5pyod pa

Behaviour, attitude, activity, I 08


cog bzhag

Dzogchcn Mcnngagde practice of


mchod rten

Reliquary, Skt. stupa, 27


chu bo ri

·(caving it as it is', 113 Place where Thangtong Gyalpo stayed in Central Tibet, 40 Da


Symbol, sign, 54,58


sde dge

Town and region in Kham, East

Derge Gonchen

sde dge dgon chen

Tibet, 38, 39, 40 Sakya monastery in Derge, 39,

40 Desheg Kagye D01je

Eight series of tantras, Eight

bde gshegs bka' brgyad

Heruka Sadhanas, 95

rdo 1je

Diamond, Skt. vajra, 68

Dorjc Chen Chigma rdo 1je spyan gcig ma One-Eyed Vajra, Skt. Ekajati; guardian, 81


Dorje Lama

rdo 1je bla ma

Diamonlike Master, Skt., Vajra­ guru, 68

Dorje Legpa

rdo 1je legspa

Benign Vajra, Skt. Vajrasadhu; guardian, 85,I0I



Follower of the Drikung Kagyiid school, 33


g111b thob

Great yogi, realized being, Skt. siddha, 40 Demon, evil spirit, Skt. mara, 77



Diishi nyamnyi

dus bzhi mnyam nyid State of the fourth time, beyond


rdzogs chen

past, present and future, 43



Great Perfection, I0, II, 13, 22, 23,24,29,30,33,34,37,43,47, 51,52,54,55,57,59,60,64,65, 68,69,70,71,72, 73,95,98,99, 100, 107,109,110 Wheel of joy, 92


sgam po pa

One of Milarepa's main students (I079-1153), Kagiiydpa, 40, 63, 64


dge lugspa

Tibetan school of Buddhism founded by Tsongkhapa, 31, 33,

54 Gewe shenyen (geshe)

dge ba 'i bshes gnyen Virtuous friend, 13 (dge bshes)


sgom pa


sgom med

Meditation, application, I08 Beyond meditation, non­ meditation, fourth of the four Mahamudra yogas, 64

Guru Tragphur

Master Wild Dagger, a Yidam fonn

guru drag phur

of Padmasambhava, 89,94,95,96,

97,101 Guru Tragpo

Wild Master, a Yidam fom1 of

guru drag po

Padmasambhava, 93,94 Gya



rgyal po

Secret, sealed, 55 King, class of the Tsatis (tsa ti),

95,96,97 Gyalwa Gyatso

rgyal ba rgya mtsho

Ocean of the Victorious Ones, Avalokiteshvara Yidam practice of the Anuttara Tantra, 99 Ocean, 67,99


rgya mtslw

Gyatso chogzhag

rgya mtsho cog

'Oceanlike leaving it as it is',


second of the Four Chogzhags, 67,




Experience of movement,thought

'gyu ba

activity,70 Hashang

ChineseCh'an master who taught

hwa shang

the non-gradual Sutra path (7'h Century C.E.), 71 Jamgon Ju Mipham Jatson Nyingpo

'jam mgon


Nyingmapa scholar and Dzogchen master(1846-1912),34

mi pham 'ja ' tshon snying po

Discoverer of the Kom:hogChindii Tenna ( l 585-1656),12

Jigmed Lingpa

'jigs med g/ing pa

Dzogchen master,discoverer of the Longchen Nyingthig (17291798),I0,II, 85,94,I05


ka dag


bka ' brgyud pa

Pure since the beginning,48 School ofTibetan Buddhism,12, 18,39,40,53,54,79


White offering (ofChod practice),

mkar 'gyed

86 Kam1apa

Incarnation lineage of the supreme

kar ma pa

head of the Kanna Kagyiid school, 39,68 Khor KonchogChindii



dkon mchog spyi 'dus Essence ofthe Supreme Jewels, Ierma cycle of Jatson Nyingpo (1585-1656), 12


All-wise, II

kun mkhyen

Kunnang Khyabpa kun slwng khyab pa Kyilkhor

Name of a mountain,42 'Centre-circle', Skt. mandala, 75,

dkyil 'khor

76 Lama

Teacher, Skt. guru, 13,18,26,38,

bla ma

39,46,67 Lenchag

!an chags

Kannic debtor, 86


lhag mthong

Practice of insight, Skt. vipashya­


lhug pa

na,62 Totally relaxed (in the natural state),66, 99 Lhundrub

Spontaneously perfect, third of

!hun grub

the four Dzogchen samayas,49,64 Longchenpa

Longchen Rabjam, Dzogchen

klong chen pa

master (1308-1363 ), Longde


Space series (of Dzogchen), Skt.

klong sde

abhyantaravarga, 54, 59,64,66, 98,99 Liijin

'Body offering',visualized

Ius sbyin

offering of the physical body in Chod, 86



'Wind horse', (practice of hanging

rlung rta

up) prayer flag(s}, Machig Labdron

ma gcig lab sgron

Magyal Pomra

rma rgyal spom ra


Lady master, founder of the Chod practice

(I 055-1149), 85

Mountain range in Amdo, name of the local deity, synonym for Anye Machen,


ma mo


mar 'gyed


mar pa


Class of beings,

95, 96

Red offering (ofChod}, 86 Master of Milarepa and great translator

(I 012-1097}, I7

Kagyiidpa, Menngagde

man ngag sde



Non-existence, nothingness, first


mi Ia ras pa

48 (I 0401123), Kagyiidpa, 17, 20, 21

Mingyur Dorje

mi 'gyur rdo 1je

Series of the secret instructions (of Dzogchen), Skt., Upadesha ,


of the four Dzogchen samayas,

Tibet's most famous yogi

Terton, discoverer of the Namcho

(1645-1667), 91,97 Mitogpa

mi rtog pa


sngags skong


nag 'gyed


gnam chos


nam mkha'

Without thoughts or concepts, state undisturbed by thoughts,


Extended mantra of the guardians,

101 Black offering (ofChod),


Cycle of Ierma teachings of Namcho (1645-1667), 120 'Sky, space', practice for hannonizing the astrological elements of the individual,

Namkha Arted

nam mkha' ar gtad


Dzogchen Menngagde practice of integrating one's state with space,

74 Nang gyu rig

Vision, movement and presence;

snang 'gyu rig

nangwa, gyuwa and rigpa, Nangwa


Vision, perception, manifestation,

snang ba

70, 72, 120 NangwaChogzhag snang ba cog bzhag

'Leaving the vision as it is', fom1h of the FourChogzhags,

Nangwa rigpai gyen Natsog rangshin

70, 71, 72

.wang ba rig pa 'i

All manifestations as ornaments


of presence,


sna tshogs rang bzhin "Even though the nature of diversity is non-dual, in tenns

mi nyi kyang

mi gnyis kyang

chashe nyidu

cha shas nyid du

of individual things, it is free of

tro dang drel

spros dang bra/

conceptual elaborations'', 48



gnas pa


gnas brtan

Ngagpa chang gi

sngags pa chang gis

Calm state, experience of emptiness,

nyo na ni, ngu






Preliminary practice,

sngon 'gro ngor chen kun dga '


bzang po

Founder of the Ngorpa lineage of

The Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism (1382-1444 },40

A lineage of the Sakya school, 40,

ngor pa

Nub Sangye Yeshc gnubs sangs rgyas


Dzogchen master, one of the

twenty-five students of Padma­

ye shes

sambhava Nyagchig



Ngorchen Kunga


"If aTantric practitioner is drunk,

myos na ni, ngu 'bod then he has no option but to go to

bod ne su tsedpar gnas su 'tshed par ched


Elder (of Sangha), Skt. sthavira,

(8ti1 Centuty C. E.}, 61 60

Singular, single state,

nyag gcig


nyag 'bla pad ma


bdud 'dul

Changchub Dorje's master, Attained rainbow body

(18 16-

1872), 93


snyan rgyud

Oral transmission lineage,

Nying gi thigle

snying gi thig le

See Nyingthig ,


mying mapa


mying thig



The 'old' school ofTibetan Buddhism,

34, 54, I 19

Heart essence, innennost essence, essential instructions of Dzogchen Menngagde,


od zer can ma


'ad mtha yas


A yellow manifestation of Tara, Skt., marici, Tib.-Skt., maritse, Immeasurable Light, Skt.,

PadmaThodtreng- pad ma thad phreng tsal

Amitabha ,46

Powerful Padma with a Garland of Skulls, secret name of Padmasam­


bhava , PalchenChuwori

dpal chen chu bo ri

Palyul Kanna

dpal yul kar ma


Site of one ofThangtong Gyalpo's iron bridges, near Lhasa,

Yangsi Rinpoche

pha dam pa


sangs rgyas



Master of the Palyul monastery

yang srid rin po che

Pha Tampa


(1898 ?), 38 -

South Indian yogi, founder of the Shije school

(IIthCentury C. E.},


The practice of transference of

'pho ba





phur ba

Ritual dagger, Skt. ki/aya, repres­ entation ofVajrakilaya, 95

Rangrig lama tonpe rang rig bla ma stan lama

The teacher who introduces one to the discovery of one's true

pa 'i bla ma

potential, 51 Rigdzin

rig 'dzin

'Holder of wisdom', enlightened being, Skt. Vidyadhara,43, 80



Instant presence, pure, non-dual presence, Skt. vidya, 70, 113

Rigpa Chogzhag

rig pa cog bzhag

'Leaving the presence as it is', third of the Four Chogzhags, 70

Rigpai Kujug

rig pa 'i klw byug

Cuckoo's OJ' ofthe State of Presence, also known as the Six Vajra Verses, 48


ri bo

Riwo Chogzhag

ri bo chog bzhag

Mountain, 65, 66 'Mountain! ike leaving it as it is', first of the Four Chogzhags, 65, 66,67

Riwo tabu ting nge ri bo Ita bu ting nge dzin


'Mountainlike contemplation', everything remains as it is, nothing is changed, 66


'One taste', third of the four

ro gcig

Mahamudra yogas, 63, 64 Sabcho Thangtong

zab chos thang stong The Great Collection of the

Nyengyii Chenmo snyan brgyud chen mo Profound Oral Teachings of Thangtong Gyalpo, 37 Sakya Pandita

sa skya pan di ta


sa skya pa


bsang mchod

Smoke, purification offering 88

Sangwa Y eshe

gsang ba ye shes

Secret Wisdom, Skt. Guhyajiiana;


sems sde


sems 'dzin

Master of the Sakya school ( 1182 - 1252), 22 One of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism,22, 33, 39, 40

Dakini,46 Mind series (of Dzogchen), Skt. cittavarga, 64, 66, 99 Series ofDzogchen meditation practices,to 'hold' ( 'dzin) the 'mind' (sems), 62 Senmo Shechen Rahjam Rinpoche

bsen mo

One of the Eight Classes, 95, 96

zhe chen rab byams

Dzogchen master of the Shechen

rin po che

monastery in Kham ( 1910-1959), 38


Practice of the calm state, Skt.

zhi gnas

shamatha, 54, 61, 62, 63, 68, 70



'Peaceful-wrathful' deities of the

zhi khro

91, 93,102

Bardo, Tawa

Ita ba

View, 108

Tenzin Gyatso

bstan 'dzin rgya

Name of H. H.

14'h Dalai Lama, 67

mtsho Tenna


Revealed or discovered 'treasure'


thang ka

12,37,45,85,91,92,93, 94,97,119,120 Tibetan religious painting, 15,93

Thangyal Nyen-

thang rgyal snyan

Oral Teachings ofThangtong


37,40,41,44,77,81 (13611485),37,40,41,42,43,44,45, 77,81,117,119,121,123




Thangtong Gyalpo thang stong rgyal po Tibetan Mahasiddha

Thangtong Nyengyiid Thigle

thang stong snyan

Oral Transmission ofThangtong




Sphere of light, represents our

37, 40, 41,44, 77,81

primordial potentiality,


58,92 Thiidgal

Visionary practice of Dzogchen

thad rgal

Menngagde, emphasizing the lhundrub aspect,

52,53, 54


thugs rje

Energy, potentiality, compassion,



Practice session of a specific

49 duration,

73,84,85,90, 92, 93, 94,

97,100 Tragpo Takhyung

drag po rta khyung

Manifestation of Guru Tragpo from the Longchen Nyingthig cycle,

Tragpo Yeshe Ram bar Tregchiid

drag po ye shes rab


Manifestation of Guru Tragpo, 93

rab 'bar khregs chod

Main practice of Dzogchen Men­ ngagde, emphasizing the kadag aspect,

51,52, 53,54, 59,64,65

gri gug

Curved knife (of the Dakinis), Skt.


'phro 'du

Practice of spreading light and


spros bra!


gtsang po


rtse gcig




receiving empowennents,


'Beyond concepts', second of the four Mahamudra yogas, Brahmaputra river,



'One-pointedness', first of the four Mahamudra yogas, 63


One of the Eight Classes,





tse ring ma

A guardian, I 0 I


yab yum

'Father-mother', principle of male-female union, Skt. yuganaddha, 58, 109

Yangdag Heruka

yang dag he


yang ti

Yeshe Tsogyal

ye shes mtso rgyal





One of the eight Yidams of the Desheg Kagye, 94 Dzogchen Menngagde practice of the dark retreat, 53 Great teacher and consort of Padmasambhava, 17, 18, I 09 Dimension, space, primordial sphere, Skt. dhatu, 75

Ying rig se

dbyings rig bsre

Integration of space (ying) and presence (rigpa), 75



Zhi chig lam nyi

Gzhi gcig lam gnyis

"One base, two paths, two fruits",

'bras bu gnyis


One of the Eight Classes, Skt. Rahula, 94

drebu nyi